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Cleveland mayor offers a solution to snow removal plan with “next step” recommendations

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 2:20 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2022 at 10:27 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb addressed questions and criticisms from City Hall on the city’s snow removal response after last week’s huge winter storm that dumped up to 15 inches of snow in some areas. But the Mayor is also offering next step recommendations he believes will fix the problems.

The city received many complaints of unplowed streets after the major snowfall on Jan. 17.

“I heard you. We need a new snow removal plan to ensure we are better prepared for the next storm,” Bibb tweeted on Jan. 20.

Mayor Bibb says snow plow crews fulfilled the existing snow removal policy plan as written, but Cleveland residents have made it clear to him that’s not enough, because many are concerned about residential streets that in some cases were not cleared of the snow for days. According to the Mayor, “We uncovered that in our existing snow removal policy it didn’t account for the intensity of snow, but it did account for the amount of snow.

So, the new plan will include increasing the fleet of snow plows to give more priority to neighborhood streets, “We will amend the policy to plow and begin serving our residential streets at the same time that we do our main and secondary streets,” Mayor Bibb said.

The recommendation consists of increasing the fleet of snow plow trucks to 20 trucks to serve residential areas. Ten existing trucks would be retrofitted for plows, and five new trucks currently on-order will also be outfitted with plows.

“We’ll be looking at other departments across the city to augment our existing workforce of snow plow drivers to better enhance our existing policy,” the Mayor said.

But, 19 News has learned the new plan will not be implemented by the next big snow storm, according to Chief Operating Officer Bonnie Teeuwen, “Definitely not the next snowstorm unless it’s not going to snow the rest of the year, which we can all hope, right?”

The main reason the new plan will have to be introduced in phases according to the Bibb Administration is because the new fleet of trucks will likely not be in place, possibly until next season due to supply chain issues and retrofitting the plows.

Mayor Bibb has also approved a pilot snow plow tracker system. Just log on to Clevelandohio.gov, which is a detailed map of the city online that allows residents to zoom into their neighborhood and see what areas have been serviced or if a snow plow is currently on their street. Councilman Michael Polensek thanked the Mayor for addressing the snow plow problems, but pointed out that many senior citizens as well as other Clevelanders don’t have access to the internet to benefit from the snow plow tracker.

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