Snow Plowing Update: 2,000 Snow Emergency Tickets Issued

During the first two snow emergencies this year, the police issued over 2,000 tickets.
During the first two snow emergencies this year, the police issued over 2,000 tickets.

The following information was posted by the City of Royal Oak on Jan. 6.

Please Be Patient…We take your safety very seriously.  We are working at maximum capacity to remove snow from residential streets.

Royal Oak DPS crews are busy digging out from our third major snowstorm in three weeks and second in five days.  This one dropped over 8 inches of snow on the city.  According to WWJ news, this was the biggest snow storm to hit southeast Michigan since 1994.  It’s the first time in three years that we needed to plow snow to the middle of the street for later pickup in the downtown.

As of noon today, Jan. 6, all of the major roads have been cleared and DPS crews have started plowing local streets.  They started at the south end of the city this time and are working their way north.  We alternate the starting locations north/south with each storm.  It takes 24-36 hours of continuous plowing to clear all of the local streets.  That’s with our DPS staff split into two crews, each working 12 hour shifts. We dedicate all available personnel to snow removal except those required to deal with other emergency repairs.  So far, during this storm, we have had to repair two water main breaks.

If you live in the northern part of Royal Oak, you will probably not have your local street plowed until Tuesday.

We are not salting roads because it is too cold for salt.   Road salt is ineffective when the temperature is below 22 degrees. 

It is critical that vehicles be removed from the streets until they are cleared of snow.  When a snow plow encounters a vehicle, the driver has to swerve around it.  This results in a strip of pavement several times the length of the vehicle that doesn’t get plowed.  We don’t come back to do these locations later.  That snow remains until it melts or until the next snow storm and we plow again.  This is a major inconvenience for everyone in the neighborhood and everyone else using the street that can last for weeks. It is a major problem. That’s why Royal Oak has a snow emergency ordinance and why the police work very hard to enforce it. During the first two snow emergencies this year, the police issued over 2,000 tickets. 

A snow emergency will be declared whenever we anticipate four inches of snow or more.  Snow emergencies are announced on the city web site, email list, WROK cable station and some local news outlets. However, anytime it’s snowing enough that you need to clear your driveway, it’s probably snowing enough that we will need to plow the streets and you need to get your vehicles off the street.  If a snow emergency has been declared and your vehicle is not removed from the street, you will be subject to a $50 fine.


The Duke of Royal Oak January 06, 2014 at 04:30 PM
The D.P.S. has done a wonderful job.
Melissa Summers January 06, 2014 at 05:43 PM
I agree, they must all be exhausted. Thank you!
DianeKH January 06, 2014 at 07:29 PM
My street hasn't been plowed yet, but I've got four wheel drive so I'm still mobile. When I get out to the main roads, they have all been plowed. Good job guys! Stay warm everyone.
bangpow January 06, 2014 at 07:38 PM
Funny how they have issued tickets but I got stuck on my street this morning and this evening on my street because it wasn't (and still isn't) plowed!
Sherry Lane January 06, 2014 at 08:01 PM
Royal Oak must really be strapped for cash.. I've lived here for 25 years and they have never issued a ticket around this neighborhood for a snow emergency...
Russell M Jones January 07, 2014 at 12:53 PM
If received a snow emergency ticket, but have no place to park off the street, go to city hall and get a snow permit.
Cheryl D. Hudson January 07, 2014 at 01:25 PM
The problem is that it has been 3 days since the snow started and our street has yet to be plowed. There is no place to park and our street was totally inaccessible. I had to have a tow truck tow my car 1 block to my driveway and then he got stuck. Some cooperation on the part of law enforcement would be great too. Have called the City and they said dead end streets are always the last to be plowed. Why? I think we pay the same taxes as thorough fares.
Ed Callahan January 12, 2014 at 02:06 PM
Parking on the side streets would not be an issue if the city did not allow a rental in a single family home to have 4 adults living in the house with each individual owning a vehicle that they park in the street because they don't have the room in the driveway. I have two such houses next to me.
The Duke of Royal Oak January 13, 2014 at 10:11 PM
Ed Callahan, Very good point. Perhaps bringing that issue to the city council, email them via the city website www.romi.gov or I believe this Saturday there is a special strategy meeting held by the city council, with public comment before the meeting.
Bob January 14, 2014 at 08:53 AM
Cheryl D. Hudson, the snow STARTED falling in the afternoon of January 5. Less than 48 hours later you claim it was three days. Never mind the fact that there is nothing to plow when the snow starts. There wasn't much reason to be out plowing until approximately midnight of the fifth at the earliest. It is too bad that mid elementary grade level arithmetic is so difficult for you. Such a shame. Stop whining and find a mirror to cast your derision.
Sherry Lane January 15, 2014 at 05:07 PM
ouch Bob....play nice...
Bob January 16, 2014 at 08:39 AM
My post was exceedingly helpful and positive. The truth needed to be released. Don't blame the messenger.
K. Scott January 16, 2014 at 08:44 AM
Bob, if you need to point that out ,it was neither.Just saying.
Bob January 16, 2014 at 05:26 PM
Anyone that stretches the time like that deserves the response. She started whining because her residential street was not plowed within 36 hours of the end of a major storm like we experienced on the evening of Sunday, Jan 5? Come on now! Her post was at January 07, 2014 at 01:25 PM. 36 hours before that was January 05, 2014 at 01:25 AM. That is NOT three days. There was a rash (perfect word in this case) of you whiners popping off immediately after that storm. The fact of the matter is that DPS did a good job in this case. I would not be surprised if her street was plowed within 12 hours after that post.
K. Scott January 16, 2014 at 07:50 PM
Bob, I'm glad to see you have enough time on your hands to be so concerned with simple comments. While it may be knee jerk and a little dubious in timing. You have taken a molehill and made it a mountain. Congratulations sir.


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