Crews from the Streets Department have been working twelve-hour shifts around the clock since Sunday. What I am going to say is no reflection on them. They deserve our thanks.
For as long as anyone can remember, the City has not plowed the side streets in residential neighborhoods. Crews cleared snow routes and major intersections, fire houses, commercial districts, major secondary streets. Once in a while, some neighborhood streets were treated with salt or chemicals to speed melting. There were no parking restrictions apart from snow routes and cars were only rarely towed.
That policy did not serve us well this time. A lot of people got stuck. Too many people still say they cannot get off of their streets. And many of you have expressed your frustrations of the last several days on Facebook and Twitter.
The City is in the service business. You complain; we have to respond.
So, I have instructed my Streets Director Todd Waelterman to plow the City's side streets starting this afternoon. Work will begin about 5 pm and Todd expects it to take about 24 hours to finish every street. If you have a car on the street, you might want to consider moving it for a day. Todd will plow around it, but you will likely have to dig it out. That is one of the tradeoffs.
When your street is finished, let us know what you think about adding residential side streets to the regular routine of plowing: Do you like it, hate it, think it is a good use of money, a waste of money, and why. Your feedback will inform and instruct us as we consider a new policy on side streets. Use this link: https://stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/mayor/news/residential-street-plow.cfm
Also, let CSB know if the crews missed your street.
Again, I want to thank Todd and his crews. They have done a good job with the Snow Routes. I am now sending them into uncharted territory. This is an experiment, inspired by the reactions of some of you. I am as curious as you are to see how it works.