Frequently Asked Questions: Village Snow Operations

Frequently Asked Questions: Village Snow Operations

(Updated January 7, 2021)

Following recent snowfall events, the Village has received a variety of resident questions about the Public Works Department’s snow and ice control operations. Streets and sidewalks are addressed differently during snowfall events. In anticipation of last week’s snow and ice events, the Public Works Department applied an anti-icing solution to streets and plowed the streets during and after the events. Anti-icing on high-priority streets helps melt initial snowfall and reduces the likelihood of snow packing.

The Public Works Department did not remove snow from public sidewalks during the snow and ice events on Friday, January 1 or Saturday, January 2 because the Department’s Snow and Ice Control Plan does not initiate the sidewalk snow removal program until there is an accumulation of two inches or more snow from a single snowfall event. No single snowfall event reached this threshold last week.

As a reminder for residents, staff has assembled a brief overview of the Snow and Ice Control Program to answer frequently asked questions:

Overview of Snow and Ice Control Operations:
The goal of the Village’s Snow and Ice Control Program is to have all Glencoe streets cleared and pavement in a safe, passable condition within four to eight hours following the end of any winter weather event. A winter weather event is the accumulation of precipitation in the form of snow, ice or sleet that requires a response from Public Works Operations to ensure safe passage on roadways for motorists and pedestrians. To remain prepared for any weather, Public Works and Public Safety monitor winter conditions through a weather forecasting service and respond on an as-needed basis 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, the Public Works Department uses anti-icing equipment and materials in advance of forecasted events to assist in maintaining safe roadway conditions.

How does the Village select which streets to plow?
When a snow and ice control event begins, major streets are cleared first, such as Dundee, Green Bay and Sheridan Roads. After crews attend to major streets, secondary residential streets are plowed. The Village plows culs-de-sac and alleys last. Public Works crews also clear snow-covered streets in downtown Glencoe and around the train station.

Does the Village plow sidewalks?
The Village always clears and salts sidewalks in downtown Glencoe. In residential areas, the Village has a Sidewalk Snow Removal Program that is initiated after a minimum of two inches of snowfall. Certain equipment is not used for snowfall less than two inches to reduce the likelihood of damage to the concrete sidewalk and private property (landscaping, sprinkler heads, etc.) along the edge of the sidewalk. The Village does not salt residential sidewalks with a few exceptions, like high traffic sidewalks with steep inclines or certain segments near and along the Green Bay Trail.

However, not all residential sidewalks will be cleared by the Village during the 2020-2021 winter season. In the past, the Village has faced challenges in providing effective and efficient residential sidewalk plowing due to snow removal equipment limitations and limited staff availability. To improve the quality of residential sidewalk plowing and respond to resident concerns, the Village Board directed staff to execute a modified sidewalk snow removal program for the 2020-2021 winter season. This pilot program focuses on plowing sidewalks along major roadways, routes to downtown, around schools and parks. Information on the pilot program is available here.

The Village will evaluate the effectiveness of this pilot program at the end of the winter season and encourages you to give the Village feedback.

What if the sidewalk in front of my house is not a part of this year’s pilot program?
The Village asks you to partner with the Village as it evaluates its snow removal program this year and clear snow from the public sidewalk in front of your property while clearing your driveways and private walkways and assist neighbors if needed.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Don Kirk, Public Works General Superintendent, at (847) 461-1154 or dkirk@villageofglencoe.org.