NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) – Every time it snows, cities seem to always get the same complaint from residents: why aren’t neighborhood streets plowed?
Norfolk Public Works Spokesperson Trista Fayton says the city’s plows are too big for narrow residential roads.
“We don’t want to cause any damage to anyone else’s property, nor do we want to put our operators at risk,” she said.
The city could purchase smaller plows, but officials say investing in expensive equipment is just not worth it, especially for an area that typically doesn’t get large amounts of snow.
“Of course we can't predict the weather, but snow storms like this happen maybe every three to four years, so that would be a huge investment just for those small amount of times,” Fayton said.
Even if the city did have smaller plows, it just doesn’t have the manpower to handle everything. Fayton says the city is responsible for clearing 600 plus miles of primary and secondary roads—compare that to 1,700 miles of residential streets.
Cars parked on the side of the street is another issue. A plow would bury many of them, making it difficult to get out.
Instead of purchasing new equipment, city officials say hiring private contractors would be the better option. Up to this point, the city hasn't seen the need to do that, but it is a conversation leaders will continue to have.
Residents like Karen Joseph understand there are limitations, but hope officials will continue to think of ideas.
“You know, even if they just give us a little sand and some salt, maybe it won't be as bad-- it won't stick as much,” she said.