VDOT's use of heavy equipment to clear residential streets "curb to curb" may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but created a secondary problem -- mountains of snow that completely buried sidewalks. This created an extremely dangerous situation for pedestrians, especially school children, who were forced to walk in the street.
Here are some suggestions to prevent this from happening in the future.
1) Instruct VDOT crews to focus on clearing two passable travel lanes. Extra care should be given to clearing streets to the pavement, instead of leaving four inches of packed ice and snow on the road which makes driving extremely hazardous and can damage vehicle suspensions and alignment.
2) When clearing residential areas with sidewalks, snow should be piled along the curb in the gutter, to approximately the width of a parked car, so as to not cover sidewalks.
3) If it is not feasable to pile snow in the gutter, then instruct crews to clear to the curb only on the odd-numbered side of the street. This would ensure that sidewalks on the even-numbered side of the street could be cleared by residents.
4) Residents should be instructed to park only on the even-numbered side of the street for the first 24-48 hours of a snow emergency to further facilitate snow removal.
5) Smaller equipment (such as Bobcats) should be used to clear sidewalks at intersections.