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Feb 27

City Manager's Message 02/26/15: Friday Delayed Opening/ Liberal Leave

Posted on February 27, 2015 at 1:59 PM by Mary Bunting

Public Work crews - with helps from HPD escorts - have made tremendous progress on major roads today. They are 98% complete with all the streets on our snow list and they will be doing road improvement and brine application throughout the night to help with freezing temperatures. Nevertheless, because most cities do not treat residential roads, we believe it is best to give employees extra time to get to work Friday. We will thus officially open at 10 am. We will continue  to offer liberal leave for those who need to be home with school aged children or prefer not to travel in the snow and ice. Please remember to coordinate liberal leave with your designated departmental contact. 

2015 Snow Storm - Plowing Streets.jpgBy the way, for those who wonder why we do not treat residential roads, here is a summary of the presentation we gave Council last night:
  • To pre-treat, plow and/or clear the major roads, it takes 130 employees (65 peer shift, with everyone pitching in!)
  • This covers over 475 lane miles of road - roughly equivalent to one single lane from Baltimore, MD to the NC/SC line on I-95 - but this is only 32% of our roads
  • There are 1,284 total lane miles in the city - roughly equivalent to the distance from Baltimore to Key West along I-95
  • To cover these extra miles, we would need 88 more employees (at an approximate cost of $3.8 million) and 44 more pieces of equipment (annual cost of rental for 4 months of $350,000)
  • Yet, we would not need all of these employees all year long and it would be unlikely that we could get that many properly trained seasonal or temporary workers 
  • Plowing pushes snow into driveways and blocks cars parked on streets (we have had residents on major roads we do clear ask us not to do so because of this)
I thought these facts might provided you some additional insight and help you respond if friends or neighbors ask you about our plowing process. 

I hope everyone is staying safe and warm! 



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