CLEVELAND — At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb provided an update on snow removal plans for the City of Cleveland, saying they are adding more trucks and drivers, which will allow them to plow residential streets sooner.
Watch a replay of the news conference below:
Following Cleveland's first major winter storm of the season last week, Bibb acknowledged that the city could have handled snow removal better, later adding that it was a problem compounded by short staffing and a "broken system" left by former mayor Frank Jackson. Thursday, Bibb shared information that he learned from the most recent snowstorm response, provided an update on improvements to the current snow removal plan, and shared immediate next steps to “better serve the needs of our residents.”
He said when he came into office, he believed the snow removal plan was effective, but last week's snowstorm proved to him that it wasn't.
Updated plans included adding 20 snowplows and drivers to the city's force, allowing them to plow residential streets as they are plowing higher-priority main and secondary roads around the city.
" We have over 10,000 streets that all of our crews and plows service. We need greater flexibility to increase the fleet to improve our response time and also that will allow us to begin servicing our residential streets earlier, at the same time, we're actually plowing our main and secondary streets."
Bibb also unveiled an online plow tracker map that allows residents to see where the city's snowplows are in real-time. View it here.
"It's a good step in the right direction to give our residents transparent access to know when the snowplow is coming to their neighborhood," he said.
He said in every weather event moving forward, city officials will be in constant communication with groups like GCRTA, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, the hospitals, and more to make sure the streets that have to be made a priority, will be.
"We all thought it was critical to come together over the next several weeks to do this simulation, as a region, to find better ways to collaborate and partner so that our residents are safe, can get to work and get to school and get to a hospital," Bibb said.
Bibb said the changes he's proposed won't be in place by our next snowstorm but said a lot of it will be rolled out in phases.
RELATED: Mayor Bibb on Cleveland's snowstorm: 'I inherited a broken system that needs significant overhaul'
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