New city plow plan targets clearing residential streets and snow berms

SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane is revamping how it responds to snowfall with a new plow plan. The changes will include faster snow removal and plans to deal with pesky snow berms.
The new plan comes after the city surveyed 1,600 Spokane residents in the spring. Through the years, KXLY has interviewed hundreds of people, unhappy with the city's response to heavy snow. Last year, the city says the response was especially critical.
"We heard from citizens that they didn't think we had gotten it done in a way that they thought was efficient or good, so we wanted to see what we could do to change and to meet some of their needs," said Marlene Feist with the Public Works Department.
Those needs include plowing residential streets sooner, more full city plows at lower snow levels, and more resources devoted to plowing.
"The heart of our new plan really is this idea that when it just snows a little bit, we're still going to get out there and get into places we haven't been before," Feist said.
One of the biggest concerns voiced to KXLY every year is about berms building up and blocking driveways. The city says it is purchasing new equipment to deal with that problem, and if successful will purchase more.
It's no coincidence that these changes com after the head of the streets department was removed from his position back in February.
"I think it came with a new head of the streets department, I think it came with desires from our elected officials, our mayor, Mayor Condon and from our city council members. All of them said 'what can we do differently? How can we address this differently?'" Feist said.
The city says it is doing away with "how things have always been done" and looking at the plow plan with a fresh set of eyes. The new plan will likely be unveiled at the end of September.