When winter arrives in earnest and the snowplows once again become a fixture on Craig streets, citizens will be expected to do their part to help maintain the roads by moving their cars so the Road and Bridge Department can effectively do its job.
During snowstorms, police notify the road crews early in the morning. The city's ten 10-foot plows hit the streets at about 4 a.m., according to Randy Call, head of the city's Road and Bridge Department. It takes them eight to ten hours to clear the streets.
The first early-morning pass leaves windrows around the cars parked in the street. If left for extended periods, these piles build up, creating traffic problems, according to the Craig Police Department.
Police issued a press release advising citizens to move parked cars so road crews can remove the snow on subsequent passes.
"I'm aware not everyone can park their cars off the street, but boy it sure helps if you have a place to put your vehicle so we can plow," Call said.
Vehicles that remain in parked in the same spot on the street longer than 72 hours can be ticketed and towed.
"Basically it's a last resort for me to go and tow those vehicles," said Becky Otis, a code enforcement officer. "We realize you're not going to hear the plow truck in the middle of the night and get out and move your car."
However, Otis said police expect citizens to move their vehicles as soon as possible. Otis hangs red tags on vehicles where windrows have accumulated. Seventy-two hours later, she tickets them and arranges for them to be towed.
Violators face fines up to $300, plus towing fees, which can reach $100.
Otis encourages people without off-street parking to relocate their vehicles forward or backward, enough for the plows to remove snow accumulations.
"They just have to move it so the next time the plow comes by it can move that rift of snow so it doesn't pile up."
The rifts also pile up in front of driveways. The city offers a program to remove the snowbanks from in front of driveways for physically disabled residents, or those more than 65 years old. To sign up for the program, those who qualify can obtain the required forms from City Hall.
Jeremy Browning can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.