We are providing this information to help everyone understand the Town’s policies on winter snow removal. Here are our procedures for sanding, plowing, parking bans, mailboxes, lawn/sprinkler head damage, recycling bins, driveways and windows. Who is responsible? How you can help? Who do you call?
The Town of East Greenwich follows weather reports and observes conditions if there is a threat of a storm. The Superintendent calls in the snow crew initially to spread material (salt/sand mix) on the primary and connector roads, intersections hills and school bus routes, depending upon the time of day or night. Our priority is to keep these roads passable for emergency services, such as Police, Fire and Rescue.
The crew begins to plow when the snow has reached 1” or more in depth. The same protocol is followed; primary roads first, side streets and cul-de-sacs (usually) last. The Town is divided into assigned plow routes and each driver will follow a pattern until a complete circuit has been opened up. When the storm ends, the drivers will return and widen the roads, pushing back the snow to the edge of the road. If needed, more material will be applied to the plowed road.
- PARKING BAN –The Town will institute a parking ban on Town streets whenever one inch or more of snowfall is forecast. Bans are announced by the local media –TV and radio, as well as on the Town website, but should be considered to be in effect during most snowstorms. Your vehicle can be towed, at your expense if it is parked in the violation of the ban. If your car is off the road, the plows can clear the roads more efficiently. The parking ban stays in effect until the plowing is complete and Town lifts the parking ban.
- CLEARING MAIN STREET- All portable signs, tables, chairs, benches, decorations, etc., need to be removed from the sidewalk before the storm begins. Also, all awnings must be retracted.
- THROWING (DEBRIS) SNOW ON ROADS – RI General Law § 31-22-9. When you shovel or plow out your driveway or sidewalk, DO NOT throw the snow in the road so as to constitute a hazard (or requiring it to be re-plowed). If you hire a contractor to plow/shovel your property, please advise him of this regulation – he may be unaware.
- WINDROWS - When the plow trucks go by, they produce windrows – the ridge of snow along your property frontage including your driveway. This is not done intentionally, it is a byproduct of plowing. It is the resident’s responsibility to clear all passages to their property including walkways and driveways.
- The TOWN RIGHT OF WAY (R-O-W) is a minimum of 5-10 feet from the edge of the road varying upon location. One of the uses of the R-O-W is for the placement of snow during plowing operations.
- BASKETBALL HOOPS –It is the Town’s policy that any basketball hoop or permanent structure of any kind within the R-O-W is prohibited. The Town, therefore, is not liable for damage to any of these types of structures illegally placed in the Town R-O-W.
- SPRINKLER HEADS/SHRUBS/LANDSCAPING/ELECTRIC FENCE/ETC. – The Town is not responsible for any damage that occurs to the aforementioned items that are placed in the town’s R-O-W. Sprinkler systems are to be set back from the Town R-O-W, holding the Town not responsible for damage within the R-O-W.
- LAWN/PROPERTY EDGES – Please use plow markers to help prevent lawn damage. Within the Town’s right-of-way plow-damaged areas will be raked out, loamed and seeded in warmer weather. Please call and let the Department of Public Works know the location of the damage. 401-886-8620 or 401-886-8621
- MAILBOXES – When your mailbox or post is damaged, it’s usually been the victim of heavy snow thrown by a moving plow. Sometimes it may have been damaged by a plow because of poor visibility during the storm or unfortunately, sometimes a hit and run. Mailboxes are installed within the Right of Way at the owner’s risk. There are precautions you can take to protect your mailbox, such as inspecting the post to be sure it is has not rotted, post markers, or place as far back from the edge of the road as allowable by Post Office standards. If the Town assumes responsibility for the damage, the mailbox will be replaced with a standard box and wooden post. (New posts have to wait for warmer weather, but we will do what we can to help).
- RECYCLING CARTS AND TRASH CANS – We try to stay on schedule; however, due to the nature and intensity of some storms, trash pick up may sometimes be delayed. This decision is made in a timely manner and any delays will be posted on our Town website. Cancellations will be posted on the website and with the local media outlets. Please keep your carts and cans curbside not in the road where they would create an obstacle and safety hazard. Please take them in as soon as possible so the wind doesn’t knock them over.
- STORM DRAINS/CATCH BASINS – Melting snow and rain can create a flooding problem if leaves and debris cover the opening. If you are aware of a problem and are unable to clear the area, please notify us with the location and we will respond as quickly as possible to resolve the issue.
- STATE ROADS – State roads are the responsibility of the State of RI. All questions should be directed to 401-222-2378
- PRIVATE ROADS and DRIVEWAYS – are the responsibility of the owner/association.
- FIRE/RESCUE - The Town will provide assistance to Fire/Rescue and Police as requested during emergencies.
- PERSONAL SAFETY – If you do not have to go out during the storm, please stay home. If you must go out, be observant of road conditions and do not pass the snowplows. When driving behind the snowplow, keep your distance of 100 ft. or more. PLEASE keep children away from the roads and windrows until all clean-up operations are completed. Do not allow children to make snow forts in the windrows. Please reach out and check in with elderly neighbors, people living alone and those with medical conditions.
- THE NATURE OF THE STORM - Many factors have an effect on the challenges presented by any given storm. Variable factors, such as, temperature, wind, time of day, duration of storm, day of the week, lightening, rate of accumulation, blowing and drifting, ice on limbs and power lines, have an influence on how we approach the clean-up operation. Other factors influencing the clean-up operation would be equipment availability, possible breakdowns, maintenance, refueling, manpower and necessary rest breaks.
We appreciate your patience and cooperation and if you have any questions, please call our main numbers 401-886-8620 or 401-886-8621 during normal business hours 8:30 – 4:30 M-F. Please leave a message after hours. Always call the Police with any emergencies 401-884-2244.