Lower Moreland addresses snow removal concerns

With more snowfall than normal this year, there’s more concern over when people are — or aren’t — shoveling their sidewalks in Lower Moreland Township.

The Lower Moreland Board of Commissioners discussed challenges regarding snow removal from sidewalks at a meeting last Tuesday. The board voiced concerns from citizens regarding snow plows pushing snow back onto sidewalks after they’ve shoveled them.

“When someone complains that children can’t get through a certain area [on their way to school], that needs to be addressed,” said Board President Rob DeMartinis. Part of the problem, he continued, could be a lack of awareness about the ordinances governing snow removal. “This wasn’t an issue last year,” he observed about the previous season’s virtually nonexistent snowfall.

According to Director of Public Works Stephen Woerner, safe roads are his department’s first priority — meaning, plows will first create a passable in the middle of each road. Later, they’ll return to plow the all the way to the curb.

Currently, Lower Moreland residents have up to 36 hours after a snowfall to shovel, while Woerner’s goal is to have one lane passable within at least 24 hours. He suggested waiting until after a plow came through to shovel if having to do it twice is an issue.

In general, he added, residents can pile snow to the right of a driveway so that when a plow comes through it doesn’t push the pile back in front of the driveway.

According to DeMartinis, roads are plowed based on “rescue, and then population, needs.” State roads like Huntington Pike and Welsch Road are cleared first and constantly for emergency responders. As the snowfall slows, secondary roads and cul-de-sacs are plowed.

The township also closely monitors commercial areas and pedestrian walkways. As needed, officials will distribute door hangers reminding people of their snow removal responsibilities, or send out code enforcers if necessary.