Snow and Ice Control Policy Table of Contents Mission Statement Cover Page Objective Cover Page Snow Removal Equipment 1 Staffing of Equipment 1 Hours of Operation 1 Budget Constraints 1 Plowing and Sanding Standards 1 Anti-Skid Application 1 Road Classification Definitions for Snow Removal 1 Priorities 2 Authorization to Close County Roads as the Result of a Severe Winter Storm 2 Community Relations and Media Notification Process 3 Response to the Sheriffs Department’s Emergency Services Division 3 Search and Rescue 3 Severe Winter Storms 3 Mutual Aid 3 Contractors 3 Driveways and Private Roads 3 Landscaping 4 Utility Installations 4 Mailboxes, Newspaper Boxes and Driveway Monuments 4 Trash Cans 4 Dead Animals 5 Sidewalks 5 Ice Control Barrels 5 Abandoned or Parked Vehicles in Right-of-Way Vehicle Impeding Route 5 Plowing of Private Roads and Driveways 5 Plowing Snow onto County Right-of-Way from Private Property 5 Colorado Revised Statutes 6 EL PASO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION MISSION STATEMENT To provide an effective Snow and Ice Control Program which enables the motoring public to use the county road network during inclement winter weather. This is accomplished by maintaining a reliable road network during winter storms. OBJECTIVE The principle objective of the El Paso County Snow and Ice Control Program is to provide for the efficient flow of traffic within the county during periods of inclement winter weather. SNOW REMOVAL EQUIPMENT El Paso County Department of Transportation will maintain a fleet of snow removal equipment to include trucks with plows and sanders, motor graders, front-end loaders, snow blowers, and track type dozers. STAFFING OF EQUIPMENT El Paso County Department of Transportation will maintain its staffing at the level authorized by the Board of County Commissioners. HOURS OF OPERATION After evaluating the severity of each snow or ice storm, the Department of Transportation will determine the hours of operation. If the snowstorm is of sufficient magnitude and duration, equipment will be mobilized at any time and will operate on a 24 hour per day basis until the roads are opened. BUDGET CONSTRAINTS Due to budget constraints, the Board of County Commissioners may limit snow removal operations. PLOWING AND SANDING STANDARDS El Paso County Department of Transportation does not have a bare pavement policy. Limited sanding may be performed during the winter storm. When the winter storm has stopped, the major sanding operation will commence if warranted. Sanding may be limited to hills, intersections, and curves. ANTI SKID APPLICATION The Department of Transportation will use a variety of anti-skid products including, but not limited to, salt, sands and chlorides. The anti-skid products used will be consistent with generally accepted practices. The Road Classification definitions for snow removal are as follows: PAVED ROAD SYSTEM The paved system is generally plowed and sanded by trucks Paved Priority One Roads are defined as all paved roads that are identified on the El Paso County Major Transportation Corridor Map as major arterials and such other road sections as defined by the Director of the Department of Transportation. The area of the county on this map is located west of Peyton Highway. Priority One Roads east of Peyton Highway are identified as all paved roads located on section lines. Paved Priority Two Roads are defined as roads that collect traffic from subdivision roads and allow traffic circulation within residential neighborhoods, commercial, and industrial areas, while providing channels to the major arterial system. Priority Three Roads are defined as paved residential roads minus Priority Two Roads. NON-PAVED ROAD SYSTEM Motor graders generally plow the Non-paved system Non-paved Priority One Roads are defined as gravel roads located on section lines. Non-paved Priority Two roads are defined as roads allowing traffic circulation within residential neighborhoods while providing channels to the major arterial system. Non-Paved Priority Three roads are defined as roads which are residential in nature minus collectors. PRIORITIES Snow plowing and ice control operations within El Paso County are considered a vital part of the economic and social welfare of the county. Economics, however, require a balance between the level of service and the resources available to perform the service. Flexibility remains the cornerstone of this plan. To be effective, priorities must be reassessed periodically and routes altered to keep pace with the changing population centers and traffic volumes. The Department of Transportation will attempt to formulate routes and priorities for snow removal and ice control with input from school districts, fire districts and the public and will communicate what these are and when they change. Consequently the established routes and priorities should be considered only as initial consideration subject to change at the discretion of the Department of Transportation. The main priority will be to provide plowed roads for emergency vehicles to respond to emergencies involving human life and safety. The snow will be plowed on the subdivision roads when time, available funds and equipment permit. AUTHORIZATION TO CLOSE COUNTY ROADS AS THE RESULT OF A SEVERE WINTER STORM The Director of the Department of Transportation, as the result of a severe winter storm, may decide to close a portion of or all of the County’s road network. Notification will be to the County Administrator and to the Community Relations Manager for notification to the media. COMMUNITY RELATIONS AND MEDIA NOTIFICATION PROCESS The Department of Transportation, through the Director or his designee, will be responsible for providing the media with winter storm conditions and information relating to the county’s road network. RESPONSE TO THE SHERIFF DEPARTMENT’S EMERGENCY SERVICES DIVISION During emergencies the Department of Transportation will provide an employee to support the needs of the Sheriff Department’s Emergency Services Division. SEARCH AND RESCUE The Department of Transportation will assist in search and rescue operations as requested by the Sheriff Department’s Emergency Services Division or policing authorities. SEVERE WINTER STORMS During severe winter storms with high winds and/or minimal visibility, the Department of Transportation will not mobilize any equipment until conditions have improved to such a degree that snow removal operations do not endanger the operators, the risk of equipment damage is minimized, and the possibility of accidents is reduced. When severe winter storm conditions warrant, the Department of Transportation may forego the normal snow removal and ice control plan and issue orders to open as many roadways as possible, one lane in width, before widening operations commence. As a result of severe winter storms, the Department of Transportation may be required to plow out and transport Department of Transportation employees to their reporting location. When severe winter storm conditions warrant, the Department of Transportation may allow certain employees to park snow removal equipment at their residence. MUTUAL AID The Department of Transportation may request equipment and operators from the Colorado Department of Transportation, City of Colorado Springs Street Division, Colorado Springs Airport, and the Military to assist in severe winter storms. CONTRACTORS During severe winter storm conditions, the Department of Transportation may hire private contractors to assist in opening the county’s road network. DRIVEWAYS AND PRIVATE ROADS The Department of Transportation will not remove the snow from driveways and private roads including the portion of these driveways and private roads that are in the County's road right-of-way. The Department of Transportation may maintain a list of private contractors that could remove snow from driveways and private roads. The county will not pay for snow removal from driveways and private roads. During snow removal operations, El Paso County Department of Transportation will not assume any responsibility for damage to driveways and private roads intersecting county roads. During snow removal operations, driveway and private road approaches may be obstructed. The Department of Transportation will not assume any responsibility for opening driveways and private roads that are obstructed. Damage to driveway or private road culverts during snow removal operations will be investigated and if the top of the culvert is less than 12" below the roadway shoulder, the County will not assume any liability for the damage. LANDSCAPING During snow removal operations, El Paso County Department of Transportation will not assume any responsibility for damage to any landscaping located within the County's road right-of-way. UTLITIY INSTALLATIONS During snow removal operations, El Paso County Department of Transportation will not be legally responsible for damage caused by snow removal operations to utility installations in the right-of-way. MAILBOXES, NEWSPAPER BOXES AND DRIVEWAY MONUMENTS Mailboxes within the County's right-of-way are installed at the risk of the owner. The Department of Transportation does not assume the responsibility to clear snow around mailboxes to insure mail delivery. The County does not assume any legal responsibility for damage to mailboxes, mailbox posts, driveway entry monuments, or newspaper boxes. If damage does occur, the owner can notify El Paso County's Risk Management Department. Risk Management will investigate the incident and determine the disposition of such incident according to guidelines approved by the Board of County Commissioners. TRASH CANS Trash cans should not be placed in the County's right-of-way. The County will not accept any responsibility for damage to trash cans during snow removal operations. DEAD ANIMALS The owner must remove privately owned animals that are injured or have died in the County's rights-of-way. If the owner refuses to remove these animals, the County may, at their convenience, remove them and bill the owner for all costs plus 25%. SIDEWALKS All sidewalks adjacent to private property are the responsibility of the private property owner or tenants to remove snow. Where the property owner or tenant has limited access to a sidewalk which is adjacent to a Main Arterial or Collector, the Department of Transportation may remove the snow. This will be done at the discretion of the Director of the Department of Transportation. ICE CONTROL BARRELS Ice control barrels containing anti-skid material may be placed at strategic locations at the discretion of the Department of Transportation. ABANDONED OR PARKED VEHICLES IN RIGHT-OF-WAY VEHICLE IMPEDING ROUTE If a vehicle is encountered during snow removal and/or ice control operations that has been abandoned or parked within the right-of-way which impedes snow removal operations, the County's operator may hook their equipment to the vehicle and move the vehicle to a location that allows the operator to continue on their route. A policing authority may tow the vehicle according to their policy or as otherwise authorized by law. The County will not assume any responsibility for damage to the vehicle. PLOWING OF PRIVATE ROADS AND DRIVEWAYS El Paso County Department of Transportation will not perform any snow removal operations on private roads or property, unless the department has received a request from policing authorities or the Sheriff Department's Emergency Services Division. In the case of fraudulent emergency claims, prosecution will be pursued to the full extent of the law. PLOWING SNOW ONTO COUNTY RIGHT-OF-WAY FROM PRIVATE PROERTY The practice of pushing snow onto and leaving it on El Paso County roadways endangers the traveling public, as well as, County plow drivers. The statutes of the State of Colorado make it unlawful for a person to place an obstruction on the County's roadways. El Paso County residents may receive a warning and/or a summons for snow pushed onto the County's roadways from driveways, sidewalks and private parking lots. Colorado Revised Statutes The following Statute is a traffic violation: CRS 43-5-301. Obstructing Highway - penalty. No person or corporation shall erect any fence, house, or other structure, or dig pits or holes in or upon any highway, or place thereon or cause or allow to be placed thereon any stones, timber, or trees or any obstruction whatsoever. No person or corporation shall tear down, burn or otherwise damage any bridge of any highway, or cause waste water or the water from any ditch, road, drain, flume, agricultural crop sprinkler system or other source to flow or fall upon any road or highway so as to damage the same or to cause a hazard to vehicular traffic. Any person or corporation so offending is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than three hundred dollars and shall also be liable to any person, unit of government, or corporation in a civil action for any damages resulting therefrom. Upon a third conviction therefore, the offender shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than three hundred dollars or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than three days and shall also be liable to any person, unit of government, or corporation in a civil action for any damages resulting therefrom. Each day such condition is allowed to continue upon any highway shall be deemed a separate offense. The following Statute is a criminal violation: CRS 18-9-107. Obstructing Highway or other Passageway. (1) An individual corporation commits an offense if without legal privilege he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly: (a) Obstructs a highway street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, building entrance, elevator, aisle, stairway, or hallway to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access or any other place used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances, whether the obstruction arises from his acts alone or from his acts and the acts of others; or (b) Disobeys a reasonable request or order to move issued by a person he knows to be a peace officer, a fireman, or a person with authority to control the use of the premises, to prevent obstruction of a highway or passageway or to maintain public safety by dispersing those gathered in dangerous proximity to a fire, riot or other hazard. (2) For purposes of this section, "obstruct" means to render impassable or to render passage unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous. (3) An offense under this section is a class 3 misdemeanor.
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