City of Kingston Snow Plan
Before the Snow Falls:
Beginning as early as September, the City of Kingston Department of Public Works (DPW) begins preparing for the winter months ahead by reviewing snow removal routes and servicing equipment. Preparation and servicing of equipment for the upcoming winter continues through November while DPW crews expedite the pickup of bagged and containerized leaves from the residential areas of the City.
The Public Works Department’s salt storage facility is stockpiled with 500 tons of salt, 5000 gallons of liquid salt brine, 500 gallons of calcium solution and 500 gallons of calcium magnesium solution. In order to be properly prepared for inclement weather during the snow season, the Public Works Department continually monitors daily weather conditions and receives daily weather reports from local weather sources and the National Weather Service.
Monitoring weather reports assists the Public Works Department in applying a salt brine to pre-wet the road surface in anticipation of a snow storm. This salt brine is the mixture of water with granular sodium chloride. Salt brine allows us to be proactive as it jump starts the melting process, thus speeding up the melting action.
When the Snowfall Starts:
An important step in dealing with snowfall is street salting. Top priority is given to the City’s main roads. Those roads are routes that the City has found to have the heaviest year-round traffic and usually are major arteries that have double yellow centerlines.
The snow removal process starts when frozen precipitation begins falling. Operations initiate with the application of rock salt and liquid brine to the roads and continue until the streets are clear or material application is no longer effective due to the depth of the snow.
When the Snowfall Continues:
When two or three inches of snow have accumulated and more is expected, snow is more economically removed by plowing rather than salting. All public roads, main thoroughfares and residential streets will be plowed by Public Works Department personnel. Our first responsibility is to open the main roads. These arterials are the key to providing safe access for emergency vehicles as well as maintaining the steady flow of traffic since most residents live within a few blocks of such a route. The plows then continue to all streets on the route to “open up” each one in sequence. If the storm continues in intensity, the trucks remain in that same pattern until the storm abates. At that time, the trucks begin to “widen out” all roads by pushing the accumulated snow back to the curb line and clearing intersections.
Remember, trained crews work around the clock during these storms to keep the roads open and passable. If you wish to report a hazardous condition, call the Public Works Department at 338-2114. If there is a medical emergency, call the dial 911 or contact the City of Kingston Police Department at 331-1671.
After the Storm is Over:
Crews continue to monitor all roads for icy spots and areas where winds redeposit the snow in traffic lanes. Usually an application of salt is applied to all streets so the riding surface remains drivable. If the accumulation is particularly heavy, the City removes the snow from the business districts in Uptown, Mid-Town and the Rondout. Crews are also dispatched to clear catch basins so that melting snow can run off. You may wish to avoid a potential problem and also be of assistance to your neighbors by cleaning off a catch basin or shoveling out a nearby fire hydrant. Please avoid creating a hazard by not putting snow from your driveway or sidewalk into the roadway. Not only is this a hazard but it is against the law. Do not block sidewalks. For those residents who have a snow plowing contractor, advise them not to plow your snow into the road or onto sidewalks opposite your driveway.
Snow Emergency Declaration:
The City has adopted a “Snow Emergency” policy. A snow emergency throughout the City of Kingston shall become automatic after the accumulation of snow within the City to the level of three inches. A snow emergency may also be declared throughout the City of Kingston when snow is imminent; or when the National Weather Service, other national weather forecast or Ulster County Office of Emergency Management declares a storm watch; or whenever road conditions become hazardous such that the free movement of fire, health, police or other vehicular traffic may become impeded by reason of snow, freezing rain, sleet or other natural causes. Two hours after a snow emergency has been declared, all parking restrictions will go into effect and tickets will be issued for cars not in the appropriate alternate side street parking. For more information about the City's snow emergency alternate side parking rules, click here.
Snow emergency notifications will be made via radio and automated phone notification system. New residents and cell phone users can opt in on the City’s website at http://kingston-ny.gov/Swift911 You can also register for email and text messages at this site.
Parking and Travel Regulations:
As soon as you are aware that bad weather is on the way, make sure your vehicle is off the street. This protects your car from being splashed with slush, becoming plowed in, or being hit by passing vehicles. It will also give snowplows space to plow the snow. Best of all, it will prevent your vehicle from being towed.
Upon commencement of a snow emergency, vehicular parking will be permitted on the odd side of the street on odd numbered calendar days and on the even side of the street on even numbered calendar days. At 7:00 A.M. the subsequent day, vehicles will switch to the opposite side of the street. All current parking restrictions set forth by the Common Council, such as "No Parking" and "No Standing" zones shall continue in full force and effect. During snow emergencies, there shall be no parking within fifty feet of any street corner.
There are snow emergency lots throughout the City where you can park your car during a snow emergency:
Uptown Area – North Front Street lots, Former Parking Garage lot, Forsythe Park lot adjacent to tennis courts, and the Dietz Stadium lot. Please note that Dietz Stadium lot is available for overnight parking, but please do not park near the large piles of snow that will be removed throughout the night.
Midtown Area – Sea Deli lot, Hodge Center, Cornell Street lot, Prince Street lot, and the Church at Franklin Street lot, lot next to Arace Electronics (357 Broadway), Broadway Commons (Former Kings Inn Lot)
Downtown Area – Dock Street lot (behind Mariner’s Harbor), both lots on Dock Street (on Rondout under bridge), Visitor’s Center lot, 117-165 Abeel Street (passed The Armadillo), the Trolley Museum lot, Block Park lot, and the Kingston Point Beach lot. Vehicles must be removed from lots 24 hours after the snow emergency ends.