Cleveland touts improved snow plan, but city could be doing more

Added new trucks and new technology
Posted at 6:30 PM, Dec 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-08 18:41:04-05

Cleveland’s director of public works said Thursday his department has learned from mistakes made two winters ago and is ready, as this season's first major snowfall hits Northeast Ohio.

Michael Cox said 31 new trucks and a new system called Automatic Vehicle Location, or AVL, will improve response times to the city’s streets.

“Where they’ve been, where they are, if they have the plow up, if they have the plow down,” Cox said, “If the salt spreader is open in the back, how much salt has been spread.”

He also said trucks were out Wednesday brining hills and bridges ahead of the storm.

While the previous winter was unseasonably mild, Tarajuana Crowell remembers February of 2015 and not seeing a plow for several days outside her mom’s house on East 74th Street.

That’s despite the city’s own snow plan that called for clearing residential streets no more than 72 hours after main roads are cleared.

“They need to make sure the plan that they’re using is put in place, that if it’s 72 hours, then it should be done in 72 hours.”

There is more Cleveland could be doing. News 5 checked out the plans in place for other snowy cities. For example, Milwaukee’s snow removal plan said the city kept a “line by line” list of which streets get plowed in which order.

And Indianapolis called its website the “Indy Snow Force,” with links to their Twitter feed and the Snow Force viewer, an interactive map showing which streets have already been plowed.

Cox said Cleveland has the same capability, but they have yet to launch it.

“We will be maybe next year or the year after,” he said, “So the public can get that information.”