The Bright Side
The problem with snow plowing in Lake Geneva.
In early January, the City of Lake Geneva’s snow plowing in the downtown business district created a mess. Instead of plowing the snow to the middle of the road and making a snow removal channel there, to be removed by the city’s mega snow blower as was done in previous years and as is typically been done in downtown Lake Geneva, the snow from the first couple of winter storms in January was plowed into parking stalls along the side of the roads. This left a mound of snow blocking many street parking stalls. This prevented vehicles from properly parking in parking stalls and caused many to park away from the curb and extend an extra one to three feet into the road.
It is the city’s responsibility to plow the snow on city streets, furthermore, it is also illegal for store owners to push the snow the city piled up in the parking stalls in front of their businesses back into the street, or to push the snow from the sidewalks into the street. There are several problems with snow plowing in the downtown district:
1.) In the downtown district area, there is no place for the snow to be piled up that does not interfere with traffic, parking or sidewalks, and therefore needs to be physically removed or melted. Plowing to the center for removal is currently the best method to clear the streets.
2.) There are only four hours (between 2 am and 6 am) when parking is restricted, and the parking areas should be clear of vehicles for plowing at that time. Depending on when the snowfall occurs, they need to be cleared the same day or the following night.
3.) By city ordinance, there is no place for businesses to push the sidewalk snow except to the edge of the sidewalks next to the street parking, and that makes it difficult for both customers and business owners who park there to get from their cars over the piled snow to the businesses. The city ordinance needs to be changed to permit businesses to push snow into the street parking area so that on the day after a snowfall the city can remove the snow between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. the following night.
4.) The cost and responsibility of snow removal in the downtown area should be shared by the city and the Business Improvement District. With Visit Lake Geneva promoting the area, perhaps BID money could be used to keep the sidewalks and street parking areas clear of snow, so the business owners and employees could be freed from that burden.
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by Terry O’Neill
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