Casino employee Mark Johnson was driving to Reno from the subdivision between Red Rock Road and Stead Boulevard when he saw snow plows clearing a golf course parking lot—but no snowplow at the Stead Elementary School just down the street.
He’s not the only one who has wondered about the plowing policies of local governments. In coffee shops, senior citizens’ centers and workplaces people have been complaining. The complaints seem to fall into two categories—that plowing is going on mainly on major arteries, not on side streets or residential neighborhoods, and that big shots and people with titles seem to get better plowing than others. Ninth Street in front of the Washoe County School District offices, for instance, has been kept clear, but adjoining Eighth and Ninth—both residential and heavily used by senior citizens—are nearly impassable.
A release issued Tuesday by city spokesperson Steve Frady said, “Since the series of snowstorms began on December 31st, city and county public works departments have followed their emergency snow removal plans that are also known as ‘tree’ plans. The plans call for the ‘trunk of the tree’ (or the main roads) to be cleared first, and then the ‘branches’ (or arterials, collectors and other secondary routes such as public and school bus routes) to be cleared. Continuing snow storms and below normal temperatures have required that snow removal efforts concentrate on those main and secondary roads exclusively, postponing efforts to clear neighborhood streets.”
The statement said the crews have begun working more on residential streets but didn’t address the issue of whether public agencies or the affluent are getting better service.
“While it is impossible to reach all residential streets in one day, officials believe they will make good progress throughout the week if the weather holds. Residents are reminded to remove their parked and abandoned cars from the street to allow for greater access by city and county equipment.”