Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snow law like a snow law

It's interesting that within a few weeks of each other, two cities within a few miles of each other both discussed making it "unlawful for any person to push, plow, or otherwise deposit snow from private property into the public street."

Smithfield passed it, whereas North Logan rejected it.

It makes one wonder if somebody is going around pushing all the city councils to adopt the same ordinance. I don't know if Smithfield and North Logan use their own crews or contract out with Logan or the county, but I'd guess the same group takes care of plowing if they both discussed this issue at the same time.

Logan City, where I live, has their own snow removal crews and already has an ordinance that prohibits leaving water, wood, rocks, snow, ice, vehicles, etc. in the road in such a way that they block travel or endanger people. Logan's ordinance is worded in a way that mostly makes sense, although it does make me wonder if the puddle my sprinklers leave in the gutter would be considered a stagnant pool and leave me technically in violation.

photo by mvhargan

I'd be interested to see the wording of the proposed ordinances, but the stories linked above were a little sparse on the details. The main detail that seems clear is that they don't want residents pushing snow into the street and leaving tracks that freeze into bumps that can cause the snowplows to bounce around when they hit them; you know, a miniature version of the wall of snow the plows push into the end of your driveway right after you finish shoveling? So why don't they just make an ordinance saying that? "Don't create snow or ice piles that interfere with snowplows."

On a side note, you'd think someone could invent a snowplow with some type of guard on the right side that could be enabled by the driver passing a driveway or intersection, which would temporarily stop the snow from flowing freely off to the side and when disengaged would release any accumulated snow. It wouldn't have to hold much for very long. But I digress.

From the discussion in the articles, if it just prohibits pushing snow from private property into a public street, then what happens if you push that big pile from the snowplow back into the street? If it's technically snow from the public street, not from your private property, is there a repercussion? North Logan did the right thing and rejected it, since they agreed that it would simply be unenforceable.

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