People moving snow in parking lots and on streets are reminded to avoid piling snow near traffic signals on street corners or in parking lots.
“Please don’t pile snow near traffic signals. Fixing traffic signals and signal control boxes are costly repairs, paid for by the snow removal contractor or landowner,” said Wyoming Department of Transportation Traffic Engineer Jack Hoffman of Basin.
With Thanksgiving’s record-setting snow in Fremont County, residents and businesses are trying to find places to pile snow. Hoffman said piling snow on or near roadways is creating safety hazards for drivers and pedestrians.
“Please pile the snow in other places,” Hoffman said.
Wyoming law and many local ordinances prohibit the plowing, blowing, shoveling or other placement of snow onto public roadways, including the ditch and right-of-way area along public roads. Pushing snow on public roadways increases hazards with each snowstorm, as snow piles and berms become larger, freeze and are more difficult to manage throughout the winter.
Civil penalties may also apply if the placement of snow creates a hazard, such as a slippery area, frozen rut or bump that contributes to a motor vehicle or pedestrian crash. Civil liability may also extend to both the property owner and the person who placed the snow.
Hazards created by placing snow on public roadways include slippery areas, frozen ruts or berms that may contribute to a motor vehicle or pedestrian crash, drainage problems, drifting, sight obstructions, and hindered accessibility.
“Please pay special attention to keep crosswalks, intersections, entrances and exits clean and unobstructed,” Hoffman said. “This is particularly important along school pedestrian routes to prevent young people and other pedestrians from being forced to walk in the street or highway.”