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City of Rochester Prepares for Snow Removal

The city will add these signs to 65 designated Emergency Parking Streets
Veronica Volk
The city will add these signs to 65 designated Emergency Parking Streets

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren says they are hoping for mild weather this season, but preparing for the worst.

There are already 6,000 tons of road salt on hand, and the city has planned for emergency street closures. Warren says the Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Norman Jones has been prepping since the summer.

"He was like the character in the Christmas cartoon, Mr. Snow Miser, Mr. 10 Below."

But Warren says his work has paid off, as the city will also be introducing a new web-based feature for residents this year using a system called Plow Trax. It's an online system that can adjust plow routes based on 311 calls, that they expect to implement later in the season.

But Warren is also asking the residents to take part. The city is partnering with the Center for Disability Rights to encourage people to clear sidewalks to make them more accessible in the winter. Right now the policy is to clear sidewalks at four inches of snow, but the CDR's Director of Advocacy Stephanie Woodward says it takes a lot less than that to get in her way.

"If you look at my wheels, it doesn't take four inches to stop me. One inch can be the barrier that stops me from going to work, or from going across the street to grab a coffee."

The awareness campaign is called Clear the Snow So All Can Go. Mayor Warren says property and business owners are responsible for shoveling the walks as per city code, but she says they're not looking to penalize people so much as encourage them to do their civic duty.

Veronica Volk is a senior editor and producer for WXXI News.