City of Albany prepares for first major snowstorm of the season

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The City of Albany is preparing for the first major snowstorm of the season which is expected to reach the Capital Region Wednesday evening.

In anticipation of the expected winter storm, the City’s Department of General Services has 67 pieces of equipment ready to remove snow and other precipitation from City streets. The Department has also moved to 12-hour shifts starting Wednesday at 7:00 a.m. to help enhance the City’s storm response.

The City of Albany is reminding residents that it will implement its usual snow removal procedures by clearing main roads first including, emergency routes, major bus routes, and larger roads, before moving to smaller roads and side streets. Once the Department of General Services has adequately removed snow from City streets, it will shift its focus to removing snow from sidewalks adjacent to properties that have violated the 24-hour snow removal rule.

New this season, the Department reportedly is implementing a pilot program to clear large piles of snow that accumulate from plows in crosswalks and on ADA-ramps at several major intersections to help ensure safe travel during and after the storm, especially in the City’s more dense neighborhoods where walkability is important.

The City says that it is important property owners keep the sidewalks adjacent to their property clear of snow and ice, at least five feet, or the entire width of the sidewalk if less than five feet, for pedestrians to safely pass. According to City Code 323-21, it is the responsibility of all property owners’ and/or residents to remove snow and ice from the sidewalks and accessibility ramps adjacent to their property within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm. If a sidewalk is not in compliance within 24 hours of the last snowfall, the Department of General Services may clear the sidewalk of snow and ice, and the property owner will be issued a bill for the cost of removal and charged a fine.

The Department of General Services is also reportedly implementing enhanced COVID-19 prevention measures to protect the health and safety of its employees. The measures include assigning employees to the same vehicle for the duration of the storm and undertaking a deep cleaning of each vehicle after the employee’s shift is complete.

For updates regarding the upcoming winter weather, call 518-476-SNOW, visit the City of Albany’s website, and monitor updates on the City of Albany’s social media pages including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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