Borough of Somerset Snow Removal Policy
As we enter another snow season, the Borough of Somerset reminds property owners, tenants, and contracted snow removers of the following:
- The Borough of Somerset has approximately 33 miles of local roadway to maintain and plow. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is responsible to maintain and plow Main Street; Patriot Street; Felgar Road; Pleasant Avenue (except South 200 Block) ; Tayman Avenue; Center Avenue, Edgewood Avenue (except the North 700 Block); the Gilmour By-Pass; and Cannel Drive (except the 100 Block). Due to the high costs of removing snow, it is important for the Borough to use its resources wisely and with cooperation from our residents to minimize the cost.
- The roadways are plowed in order of priority. Main (collector) roads are addressed first with special attention to steep hills and difficult intersections. Side roads and alleys are done next. Alleys will remain unplowed if the main roads require repeated plowing.
- It is a safety hazard to residents and plow drivers when vehicles are parked along the road during heavy snowfall. Not only do parked vehicles reduce the sightline for pedestrians and oncoming vehicles, but they also force the plows to veer out of the travel lane. It would help our snow removal efforts if residents would remove vehicles from the roadway prior to a snow/ice storm, and use available off-street parking. Borough Ordinance # 1153 allows for the towing of vehicles that interfer with the adequate removal or plowing of snow.
- Plow designs make it impossible to plow roads without depositing snow in driveway entrances or sidewalks. The homeowner is responsible for access to his driveway. The only way to avoid extra shoveling is to wait until the plow crews have done their final clean up on the road. When possible, delay shoveling/plowing driveways until after roads have been totally plowed. We understand the inconvenience this presents, however the Borough will not remove "wind rows" of snow from driveway entrances.
- To help decrease the amount of snow re-deposited at a cleared driveway entrance, clear the shoulder area in advance of the driveway opening and deposit the shoveled or plowed snow away from the direction of the approaching Borough plows.
- Ordinance # 1146 makes it the responsibility of the owner, occupant or tenant of every property fronting upon or alongside any sidewalk in the Borough of Somerset to remove all snow and ice from all of the sidewalks in front of or alongside their property to allow for the safe passage of pedestrians.
- It is unlawful to shovel, plow, blow, deposit, or relocate any snow or ice from a sidewalk, driveway, parking lot, private roadway, or private property onto any Borough or Penn Dot maintained roadway.
- Although the Borough of Somerset directs its operators to exercise caution when plowing roads, the Borough is not liable for damage to mailboxes, fences, basketball hoops, or similar items located within the public right-of-way during the course of snow removal activities.
- Following major accumulations of snow, property owners/tenants are requested to remove the snow from around fire hydrants and also from the entrances to crosswalks that are located on/near their property.
- Parents/Guardians are asked to keep children from playing on any snow banks which may be located along the roadways.
The Borough is not responsible for:
- Removing snow from driveway entrances
- Removing snow from sidewalks
- Unpermitted items located within the public right-of-way
- Restoring / landscaping grassy areas in the public right-of-way damaged in the course of plowing snow
This policy was adopted by the Council of the Borough of Somerset at its September 27th 2010 meeting.