With the first heavy snowfall of the winter season and freezing temperatures in the forecast, the City of Twin Falls has dispatched its snow plows and sanders to make the streets safer for residents and visitors. However, the City is reminding drivers to reduce their speed and take extra precautions while driving.
The City has eight snowplows and sanders to maintain more than 630 miles of streets, which must be cleared of snow and then dusted with a mix of sand and de-icing agent. Roadways are plowed and sanded in order of priority, which is ranked by traffic counts. Main arterials — such as Blue Lakes Boulevard, Eastland Avenue, Washington Street, Addison Avenue, Kimberly Road and Pole Line Road — are a higher priority because of higher traffic counts, more congestion, and accessibility for emergency vehicles. Streets with smaller traffic counts are then cleared and sanded.
As a rule, the City generally does not plow subdivisions or narrower residential streets because it can cause significant damage to parked cars, mailboxes, and landscaping. However, the City will apply sand to intersections on residential streets.
Citizens are encouraged to call the City of Twin Falls’ non-emergency line at 208-735-4357 to report dangerous conditions on roads or intersections. City street workers or officers with the Twin Falls Police Department will evaluate the roadway and dispatch plows and sanders when needed.
“We will dispatch our snowplows and sanders no matter what the time or day,” said Dean Littler, Superintendent of the City of Twin Falls Streets Department. “Our first priority is to keep the streets as safe as possible, so we typically work non-stop on rotating shifts through heavy storms to keep roads clear.”
Workers will increase the frequency of plowing on primary roadways during heavy snowfall, so citizens are discouraged from parking along main arterials to allow snow plows to safely clear the roadways. Drivers should be aware that the de-icing agent will not remove ice when temperatures fall below 28 degrees, meaning that ice will still be present under severe cold weather conditions.
In addition, the City of Twin Falls encourages drivers to follow these simple tips for driving safe this winter:
- SLOW DOWN: The posted speed limit is the recommended speed under ideal driving conditions. When snow and ice are present, drivers should reduce their speed to prevent collisions or losing control of the vehicle. In general, give yourself an extra 15 minutes during the winter to scrape your windshield and drive slower.
- SPACE IT OUT: The ‘three-second rule’ states when following another vehicle, drivers should pick a point on the road and count slowly to three after the vehicle in front passes the point. If the driver passes the chosen point before the count of three, then that driver is following too close. During hazardous driving conditions, drivers should extend the count to five or more.
- STOP EARLY AND SLOWLY: Double or even triple your stopping distance - heavier vehicles like trucks require more stopping distance on slick roadways. Also, apply the break gently to avoid losing traction.