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Routes are plowed on a priority basis, with arterial roadways, collector roadways, and school routes being top priorities. Clearing those roadways first enables emergency services to gain access to all residential areas, normally within a few blocks of each residence. View the city's snow route map
Residential Streets (Tier 4) are plowed only when conditions warrant and snowplow crews are available. Tier 4 streets are not routinely plowed and de-iced because their lower traffic volumes and speeds do not typically warrant the expense. An exception is made if a street has hills and curves that could become hazardous to motorists. Snow in cul-de-sacs will normally be plowed to the center to provide the largest turning radius possible for emergency vehicles and solid waste operations. During heavy storms, snow may not be removed until the following day after arterials and collectors are plowed.
Residents are responsible for clearing driveways and sidewalks within 48 hours after a snowstorm to allow safe use by pedestrians. This is particularly important along school pedestrian routes to prevent children from having to walk in the street. It is required that owners place snow from their driveways and sidewalks onto their front yard and not into the street. This practice reduces the number of icy areas on streets and ensures proper drainage into the storm sewer. Additionally, lawns can use the available moisture over the winter. Depositing snow from private property into the city right-of-way is prohibited. If you are removing snow from the right-of-way, please contact the Streets Division at 970-240-1443 to determine where snow shall be stored. View Section 9-4-1 of the City of Montrose Municipal Code
Cleanup and widening operations often take place one to four days after a snowstorm, depending upon the severity of the storm and wind conditions. It is often necessary to widen roads to ensure that ice and snow melt from the pavement surface to keep driving lanes open. Unfortunately, subsequent widening operations may sometimes push snow back onto sidewalks and driveways.
If an emergency occurs, call 911. Snow removal equipment will be diverted for emergencies ONLY WHEN REQUESTED BY AN EMERGENCY SERVICE AGENCY. 911 Dispatch is in constant communication with Public Works personnel during snow events so snow removal equipment can be detoured to assist with emergency response.
Mailboxes installed along roadways are at the risk of the owner. Damage to mailboxes due to lack of owner maintenance, heavy snow from plowing, or vandalism is not the responsibility of the city. Postal regulations require residents to clear snow from in front of mailboxes to allow for mail delivery. Snowplow operators make every effort to remove windrowed snow as close as possible to mailboxes. However, it is not possible to provide perfect conditions and minimize damage to mailboxes with the size and type of snow removal equipment the city uses. The city will replace mailboxes that are damaged, broken, or knocked down only if there was a direct hit by a city plow or city vehicle, provided the mailbox was installed to United States Postal Service standards.
The City of Montrose has four snow removal districts. Personnel and equipment are assigned responsibility for the roads within a particular district. The city attempts to keep a fleet of two motor graders, one front-end loader with a snow blower, five pick-up truck plows, and four full-size plow/spreader trucks to keep Tier 1, 2, and 3 roads clear. City snowplow units are white with the city logo.
During heavy snowstorms, plows will often clear lanes simultaneously. Multiple snowplows often plow together to remove snow from multi-lane streets to provide more efficient operation and eliminate piles of snow in the roadway that may become obstructions to vehicles. When you see this process in action, please give equipment adequate room to operate.
Do not drive within a snowplow operator’s blind spot, as he/she is not able to see you. For personal safety, never pass a snowplow that is engaged in snow removal. Snow and ice that comes off the plow blade can damage your vehicle or greatly obstruct your vision. Passing an operating snowplow in “Tandem formation” with two or more snowplows arranged diagonally is now a Class A traffic offense.
The City of Montrose clears all roadways according to priority until conditions are safe for travel. Tier 4 (Residential Streets) are plowed only when conditions warrant, and snowplow crews are available. Plowing of Tier 4 streets is a rare occurrence in Montrose. Tier 4 streets are not routinely plowed and de-iced because the lower traffic volume and speeds do not typically warrant the expense. Exceptions to this are made for streets that have hills or curves that may become icy and hazardous to traffic.
Depending upon temperatures, wind velocities, and the extent of snowmelt, crews may have to widen travel lanes, remove ice, and perform other operations for several days after a snow event. Snow from adjacent properties can melt and re-freeze overnight, creating ice buildup on the street. To report ice buildup on a street, please call 970-240-1480.
Citizen Responsibilities during and after snowstorms include sidewalk shoveling, snow placement, and vehicle removal. View Section 9-4-1 of the City of Montrose Municipal Code
The City of Montrose is responsible for the maintenance of approximately 288 lane miles of roads within city limits. However, the Colorado Department of Transportation maintains portions of North Townsend Avenue and East Main Street (Colorado Highway 50), portions of S Townsend Ave (Colorado Highway 550), and portions of West Main Street (Colorado Highway 90). Please see our Snow Route Maps to view designated snow routes.
Each storm calls for a unique approach, which includes: