Ice, Snow, Snowplows, Sledding, and the Mayor of Fishers

Social media is buzzing with discussions about the snowfall across Hamilton County and Fishers. A lot of the discussion centers on disappointment from the lack of snow, complaints about schools and business closing, and commentary on the snow plowing across the area.

In Fishers, the Mayor did a live Twilight Townhall on Wednesday night where he included discussion on the City’s effort to plow the roads. The discussion included Eric from the City of Fishers street crew. The following are some of the questions and comments that were presented at the live session hosted by the Mayor. Some of these comments might help clear up some of the confusion being stated and shared across local social media groups.

Mayor Fadness

Salting and Salt Trucks

There are 29 salt trucks that were out running across Fishers on Wednesday night. It was stated that roads were slick and that the main roads were getting salted. The City was also focused on hitting entrances to subdivisions with salt. With the temperatures dropping, it was getting harder. Note that they had not salted earlier because the rain makes salting pointless.

Snow Removal Mysteries – Street Priorities and Cul-de-Sacs

Mayor Fadness commented about some of the “mysteries” people seem to believe around snow removal. He mentioned that people see a red city truck come through their neighborhood and only do one or two passes before leaving. People wonder, “what’s up with that?!”.

The objective is to get roads opened in areas so that Fire and medical help can get to places. Doing a single pass or two passes gives enough clearing that such vehicles can get to areas if needed. The City can come back later to go “curb-to-curb” with the removal.

The Mayor mentioned that people wonder why are cul-de-sacs are the last to get plowed out.

The City is broken into 8 areas. There are also four levels of priority for roads. Subdivisions are lower on the priority. Main roads are first. Main roads in neighborhoods are then gotten. Then side roads. Cul-de-sacs are at the bottom of the priority. There are around 700 cul-de-sacs in the area. The Mayor stated that cul-de-sacs are the hardest to do. There is almost a driveway or mailbox at every area of them which makes it hard to find a place to put the snow without blocking things. The cul-de-sacs take a huge amount of time. The Mayor stated that they did get new equipment that might help speed up plowing cul-de-sacs.

Fishers snowplows

The Timing or Removal

Another area of discussion for people in the community is the timing for plowing roads versus snow falls. Many people tend to comment that the City should have already done something.

For this current event, the weather has been a worst case scenario. The City can’t pre-treat roads because of rain. Then the temperatures are dropping to a hard freeze. These two conditions make clearing the road and ice difficult. With this store expected to last all day on Thursday, there will likely still be snowy roads Friday morning.

How Many Plows?

On social media people comment that there should be more plows working. The Mayor discussed what does the group removing snow looks like.

For the City of Fishers, there are around to 80 to 90 trucks that will be out and about over the next few days. These are trucks that were turned on Wednesday afternoon that won’t turn off until likely on Saturday. The trucks will swap drivers and keep plowing. That’s a lot of wear and tear on vehicles.

Trails and Non-roads

In the discussion with the Mayor it was brought up that the NPT had been plowed with the last snow. A resident thanked the Mayor for plowing the trial. This raised the question of how priority is determined for trails and non-road things.

There is a crew that is focused on the downtown area of Fishers. The first focus for them is clearing the downtown area for being able to walk. After that it is the Nickel Plate Trail and that area. The parking lots at the City Parks follow after that because people tend to want to go to parks like Heritage and Flat Fork Creek Park where there is sledding. 116th Street trail path, Allisonville trail path and others then come after these. With this current snow, these trials are farther down the list of priorities.

Plow Safety and the Plowing Mayor

Mayor commented about plowing himself. He indicated that he sometimes drives a plow late at night when his kids are asleep and there isn’t traffic.

The Mayor asked Eric from the street crew about safety during the day in relation to the plow trucks. Eric stated that people get frustrated when they get behind a plow truck. Plowing is a hard, tedious job, so they ask for people to give the plow drivers grace. It was also noted that some of the trucks have a wing plow, which sticks out on the right. As such, don’t pass a plow truck on the right. In addition to some trucks have a wing plow that sticks out, the plow trucks throw their snow to the right.

But I Just Cleared My Driveway….

A complaint often heard is that people clear their driveways and then the city trucks come and plow snow back into the drive ways… The City and street department are sorry about this, but the snow has to go somewhere. When there is 8 to 10 inches of snow, they have to get it plowed off the roads.

Travel Advisories

It was asked if there were travel advisories for City of Fishers. The Mayor stated that the City of Fishers follows the County travel advisories, which at that time (and now) is in a watch (Orange). Regardless, people need to watch the roads. If the snow is 1 to 2 inches an hour and it is windy, then even if they plow, the roads are going to blow over again.

Joggers at Night in the Snow…

Joggers at night can be a problem if they are not wearing bright clothing or reflective stripes. If you are running at night, especially in the snow and when they are plowing, it was asked that you please wear reflecting clothing. There are people who wear dark clothes and don’t get seen.

The Fishes City Parks

The rest of the meeting with the Mayor focused on the Fishers City Parks, which is information for another post later. I will state, however, that Fishers has two parks that offer sledding hills. These are Flat Fork Creek Park on the east side and Heritage Park on the West side. The Parks department stated that they will be a few sleds that can be borrowed at Heritage Park.

It was stated that you should make sure you are using the correct sides of the hill. This is especially true at Flat Fork Creek. It was also stated that you shouldn’t  sled into things.

Also mentioned that parks like Ritchey Woods would be great hiking in the snow. You can also play football and do other things in the snow in the parks.

Finally, the Parks department indicated people should watch for a notice coming from them today or early tomorrow. They plan to do a contest or event where they request people to send in pictures of something they have built in their yard. They indicated more information on this would be forthcoming.

In Conclusion

To sum things up, the City has people and trucks working hard to remove the snow. With this event starting with ice and expected to include winds of up to 20 or 30 miles per hour, it is expected that the removal will be a challenge. The drivers are out there working. Let’s be considerate, give them space, and let them do their job!

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