December thaw and ice turns area streets into sheets of ice

A December thaw and ice has turned many area streets into sheets of ice, making it difficult and dangerous for drivers and pedestrians alike.

Most of our main roads are clear of snow and ice, but many residential roads still have a thick layer. It's something Jimmy John's delivery driver Aaron Castilla is well aware of.

“I'd be careful on the side streets around here. There's not a lot of traffic [on the roads]. They don't plow them very much, so it's a lot of ice,” Castilla said.

It's a reminder to drivers to slow down.

“I always driver slower on the side streets,” Castilla said. “Got to be careful.”

So why are the residential roads snowier than the rest? The answer is simple: there's just not as much traffic.

“The critical things we pay attention to are keeping the traffic moving on those critical roadways,” Carolbelle Branch , City of Spokane Valley, said.

Spokane Valley, like the City of Spokane, plows and de-ices according to a prioritized system. Crews first concentrate on main arterials and bus routes. Then they take a look at secondary roads. Next is hilly residential areas, and finally flat residential roads. Usually plows only come through residential areas after we've had six inches of snow in a single snow event.

“That doesn't mean residential areas aren't important,” Branch said. “We're doing some de-icing out in the residential hillside areas especially. We got some snow plowing to do where there was a lot of buildup.”

While the roads may seem clear during the day, keep in mind that as the sun sets, they're going to get icy again over night.

If you do see an icy spot or especially snowy area, you can call Spokane's snow line at 755-SNOW or the Valley at 921-1000.