Although a snowstorm dumped about a foot of snow on Boulder toward the end of November, drivers are still facing treacherous ice-covered residential roads, which pose safety risks, midway through December.
Make sure your brakes, windshield wipers, defroster and heater are in top condition.
-Completely clean snow and ice off all windows of car.
-Make sure your tires are properly inflated and the tread is in good condition.
-When driving into the mountains, be well aware of the weather, and expect a sudden change in weather.
-Allow your car enough time to warm up after starting it, especially in below-freezing weather, which can slow down the performance of your battery.
-Give yourself more time to get to your destination.
-Leave more distance between your car and the car in front of you.
-Give yourself more time to apply the breaks.
-Never use cruise control on icy or wet roads; you could hydroplane and propel the car in the air.
While winter storms bring much needed snow to ski areas, they can be dangerous for drivers, especially students who aren’t used to winter driving.
“I went to Aspen the weekend after the big snowstorm, and the roads were really wet and icy even though it wasn’t snowing anymore,” said open option sophomore Liz Swanson. “After a while we switched drivers because my friend was more experienced driving in the mountains.”
When the storm hit Boulder on Nov. 30, Boulder County saw an increase in traffic incidents and was put on accident alert, according to Julie Brooks the Public Information Officer with the Boulder Police Department.
“Pretty much any jurisdiction will see an increase in traffic incidents, that’s why we go on accident alert,” Brooks said. “If [the accident] is a property damage incident only and there is no intoxication or injuries, then the drivers need to exchange information and make a counter report to the agency within two days.”
The city of Boulder’s Transportation Maintenance is responsible for plowing roads within city limits when it begins to snow.
“When it begins to storm, our first priority is the Hill and areas we know are traveled on a regular basis,” said Peter Rosato, the transportation maintenance supervisor. “We have the entire crew out there working on our major roads and snow routes.”
The city’s primary roads include Broadway, Arapahoe Avenue, Canyon Boulevard, 28th Street, Foothills Parkway, Folsom Street, 30th Street, Baseline Road, Iris Avenue and Table Mesa Drive.
The city uses alternative de-icing and traction materials on roads.
“We use much better chemicals that are less harmful to vehicles and roads,” said Rosato. The liquid de-icer is a magnesium chloride solution that is water-soluble and more environmentally sound.
The city of Boulder usually does not plow residential street and, according to Rosato, it’s not in the budget.
People can call Snow Dispatch at 303-413-7162 during a snowstorm to request snow removal. They can also call Transportation Maintenance at 303-413-7162 to request snow removal on residential streets.