City of

District 11

Alder Arvina Martin

Image of Alder Arvina Martin,
Council Vice President

Alder Arvina Martin,
Council Vice President

Contact Information

Home Address:

4901 Waukesha Street
Madison , WI 53705

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Martin’s Blog

Snow Plow Update 12/11/2020

December 11, 2020 2:50 PM

Streets Division snow fighting crews have been deployed.  Make good choices if you are traveling through this city Friday and through the day on Saturday.

When the snows begin to stick to the roads, thirty-two plow trucks will be dispatched to the salt routes. The "salt routes" are the major thoroughfares of Madison that make up a little more than 40% of the all the traffic lanes of Madison. These trucks will be plowing and applying salt as needed to these roads for the entirety of the storm. In addition to the salt route trucks, there will be three trucks applying sand for traction to the hills, curves, and intersections that do not meet requirements to be a salt route.

Individuals choosing to be on the roads during the storm tonight and Saturday morning are in for a slow, slippery commute. Be sure to plan ahead to give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination safely. Also, allow plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. And be sure to anticipate your turns and stops, especially at hills, curves, and intersections, so you do not slide as you brake or turn.
This storm is expected to last a while, so disruptions to travel through the city will likely be felt from Friday until sometime Saturday early evening, depending on when the snowfall stops.

As a reminder, streets that are not part of the salt routes of the Streets Division are not plowed until there are three or more inches of snow accumulated on the roads, and the storm is at or near its end. These roads are also never salted in an effort to minimize the amount of salt infiltrates our drinking water. Therefore, these roads are likely to be snow-covered during this storm, so everyone must be sure to be slow, patient, and alert when traveling on these residential areas. No determination has been made at this time if residential streets will be plowed, or if a snow emergency will be declared. Future announcements will be made if a citywide plowing operation becomes necessary.

An important note for this winter is that the Streets Division has contracted the salt routes by about 7% for this winter.  Salt has terrible side-effects for our environment, especially our drinking water. Everyone applying it to sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots are encouraged to be salt wise. And while a 7% reduction of the salt routes may seem small, that should keep around 15 tons of salt off our roads per snowstorm. By winters end, that could mean hundreds of tons saved from entering our waterways.

Some of these reductions are temporary due to the Madison School District doing virtual-only school, and reductions in Madison Metro bus service. Once in-person school resumes and bus service restarts on these routes, these roads will be treated as if they are salt routes again. Other areas are permanently removed from the salt route network. A list of the streets that were cut from the salt route network can be found on the Streets Division's website.

Staff will continue to monitor the weather and the roads throughout this event, and all winter long. Future updates will be provided as conditions require.

Tags: Roads, Snow, Winter

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