The downtown street parking is not the city’s new “No Plow Zone”, but when the snow was still piled high in the parking areas on the third day after it had snow, then it was beginning to look like maybe the city was not going to plow them at all. Why hadn’t the snow from the 19th been removed from the downtown area before the official opening of the Ice Castle on the 23rd?
The answer is that the City of Lake Geneva now follows a snowfall removal priority list, and that list puts the removal of snow from the downtown business area at the bottom of the list. Only after plowing city streets, city parking lots, city parks, the Library, and the cemeteries are the Street Department sent to clean the downtown area. That does explain why the street department still had not cleaned and removed the snow from the Jan. 19th (8 ½ inch snowfall) by the 24th of January. It was especially disturbing because the long-awaited official opening of the Ice Castle was January 23rd.
The priority list for snow removal, and the procedures for it being drawn-up need to be reviewed and revised. The problem was not with the street department, but with the priority list that the crews were given. Their first priority should be to keep the streets open, and everyone should concur with that. But the second priority should be cleaning the downtown streets, and that should be done on the first night after the snowfall ends, not the third night! Plowing snow to the side of the streets is fine when there is a terrace on which snow can be piled. But in the downtown area there is no terrace and plowing the snow to the side pushes snow into the parking areas and up against or onto the sidewalks. This makes most street parking unusable, with a three to a four-foot-wide band of snow that is 18 inches to 2 feet high. It makes parking and then traversing city streets into a hazardous obstacle course, requiring walking through deep snow, and then stepping over mounds of deeper snow. Downtown streets, without a terrace, should be plowed to the center on the first night after the snowfall ends.
Downtown and Snow