COLUMBIA — During the winter storm that hit Columbia on Feb. 21, 10.2 inches of snow covered city streets. The snow came down so hard and fast that some drivers had to abandon their vehicles in the streets.
Beginning that day, city crews spent 28 hours clearing priority snow routes.
In contrast, during the snowstorm March 22, many residents stayed home and voluntarily moved their cars off the streets. The city was able to clear priority routes within seven hours.
The Columbia City Council in October passed an ordinance that would prohibit parking on signed snow routes when the forecast indicates the potential for 2 or more inches.
The city will monitor the forecast and will alert residents when the snow routes are in effect.
Columbia Public Works Department spokesman Steven Sapp said in an email that the city could use ticketing and towing but will rely primarily on willful compliance. On some occasions, the city might have to rely on ticketing and towing for cars to be removed from the streets.
The street division plans to have signs that will designate these first- and second-priority streets installed within the next week.
The Public Works Department is still working through details regarding how long residents will have to move their cars once an emergency snow route is issued through traditional and social media.
A public education campaign through the department will use social media, radio and news releases to bring awareness to residents about this new ordinance.
Supervising editor is John Schneller.