Beginning with November of each year, City of Decatur residents begin to wait for the inevitable – snow. The city’s street crews have been preparing all year for this. Our goal is to return the city to normal traffic operations as soon as possible. Our economy operates on the premise that the city must remain mobile.
It is the intent of the street crews to make city streets as safe as is reasonably possible within the constraints of the operating budget. During heavy snowstorms, this often means crews working round-the-clock to keep the streets open.
The City of Decatur is divided into 12 areas or routes to which a snowplow is assigned. Priority streets are determined in each area. Usually, these are the main arterial streets, carrying the bulk of city traffic.
As long as the snow continues to fall, city trucks will work to keep these streets open. When the snow has diminished or quit, these streets are salted in their entirety, if needed.
As soon as practical, trucks are then sent to plow secondary streets. These streets, are streets with low volume traffic. It is the city’s intent to plow these streets curb-to-curb.
Secondary streets are salted only when there are particular hazards, such as stop signs, hills and bridges. Because of the expense and the concern for the environment, salting is limited to areas with high traffic volume and dangerous areas.
The city is responsible for more than 500 miles of streets. Believe it or not, all city streets will get plowed.
To best meet the needs of our citizens, the city has established snow routes. These codes administer and control the emergency snow routes:
- Code #1 – Snow Alert
- Code #2 – Declaration of snow emergency
- Code #3 – End of snow emergency
When more than two inches of snow has fallen, a snow emergency is declared. That means no parking is allowed on the streets designated as snow routes. Vehicles parked on Snow Routes during a snow emergency will be ticketed and may be towed at the owner’s expense. Those streets are:
- North and South Main Streets from Washington to Johnson
- North Water from Marietta to Garfield
- East Wood from South Main to Route 36
- West Main from Oakland to North/South Main
Local news media will announce snow alerts and/or emergencies. Please be prepared to move your vehicle from the street once a snow alert/emergency has been declared.
Winter No Parking Restrictions
Winter No-Parking signs have been erected on certain narrow streets where it is very difficult to safely get the City’s large dump trucks with conventional snow plows and salt spreaders on these streets when vehicles are parked on them. Winter No-Parking exists on the following streets:
- Burtschi Court
- Cantrell Court
- East Court Manor
- East Main Street (East Av. to US Route 36)
- East Prairie Avenue (East Av. to US Route 36)
- Home Avenue (North of Main)
- Shady Crest
- Webster Court
- West Court Manor
- West Prairie Avenue (Hayworth to west dead end)
For the additional information please refer to section 11 of Chapter 34 – Traffic and Parking in the municipal code.
City ordinance prohibits the placing of any snow on a public street from any private drive or parking lot. The best place to pile snow is “downstream” from your drive. That is, pile the snow on the opposite side of the drive from the direction traffic approaches it.
Sometimes the snowplow has no recourse but to plow snow to the side of the road. This can result in snow being deposited in your drive. Please understand that we are trying to clear as much as possible as quickly as possible, and cannot pay special attention to each drive, although we would like to.
Alleys are not plowed by city snowplows, because they are generally too dangerous for both the City’s and private property due to the fact that they are too narrow and have too many hidden items under the snow.
Trailer parks are privately owned and are maintained by the owners, not the city.
Often, cul-de-sacs and dead end streets are the last ones to get attention. This is due in part that specialized equipment must be used, and these streets have very low traffic volume.
Some streets, although they are within city limits, are not maintained by the city. The Illinois Department of Transportation and Macon County Highway Department are responsible for state and county highways respectively. Problems on these streets should be directed to them.
Persons with a medical emergency, such as someone needing regular treatments on a dialysis machine, can be given priority. Simply obtain a letter from your doctor, stating the nature of the medical emergency. Bring the letter to the Municipal Services Center, 2600 N. Jasper St., and your name will be added to the list of medical emergencies. During snow alerts/emergencies, priority is given to medical emergencies, once the main arteries of the city have been cleared. Pregnancy and doctor or dental appointments are not considered medical emergencies.
For more information about the city’s snow removal policies or for answers to snow-related questions, contact the Municipal Services Center at 217-875-4820.
Click here to download materials related to the City of Decatur Snow & Ice Plan