City residents upset over non-plowed side streets

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - It’s standard policy for the city of St. Louis to not clear the less-traveled neighborhood streets after a snowfall, but many residents who live on these snowy streets are spinning their wheels, trying to figure out why their neighborhood streets still look like cross-country ski trails.

Soulard resident Ben James is one of them.  He says, “Although I grew up in Jennings, they plowed. They actually plowed every street. And if you look out here, there’s just snow everywhere. And the first couple of nights it was just packed so hard you couldn’t even walk on it.”

Driving around Soulard, it didn’t take long to find people shoveling out their cars, then pushing them, and when those vehicles finally revved up, lots of slipping and sliding.

It may be a big nuisance, but City Streets Director Todd Waelterman says his department was fully prepared for the storm; it just isn’t city policy to plow these side roads.  That’s because many of these narrow streets are lined with parked cars, make plowing difficult.

Waelterman explains, “If you wanted to remove the snow, you’d have to remove the cars, and you have to ask yourself, where would the cars go? Where would you put them? If you tried to plow this snow, you’d bury the cars.”

But St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed thinks efforts should be made to move those cars, and looking at other cold-weather cities could provide some answers. Reed explains, “They’ll have a day where cars have to be moved off one side of the street so they can come through and plow, and there’s a ton of different things you can implement to make sure at the end of the day, the residents can get through.”

Both Reed and Waelterman are confident that there will be plenty of discussions about what went right and what went wrong during this significant snowfall.  In the meantime, Soulard resident Danielle Wess just feels lucky her commute is walking distance: “It’s ok to walk in it, it’s fun in a way.”

Soulard is just one city neighborhood that residents say is still in bad shape.  But even though they weren’t plowed, the City Streets Director says a lot of these side streets did have a salt/sand mixture dropped on them.

12 comments

  • Nathan Cromwell

    STL Streets Director Todd W. is a liar there are even snow routes that haven’t been plowed or even seen salt or sand and side streets haven’t seen sand or salt either this is a waste of tax payer money he aint doing what he promised to us citizens on tv he said one thing and did another! I just want answers where are the plows or sand and salt

  • Shaunice H

    Well I guess all downtown streets are considered “main streets” that’s bs they shouldn’t of stuck there foot in their mouths and said all streets were getting plowed!

  • Amy B. Jordan

    People, I hate to go all public school on you, but this is earth, and many places on earth have snow during certain times of the year. You live in one of those places. As long as people have lived in St. Louis, they’ve had to dig their vehicles out of snow. Paying taxes does not change this fact, since taxes do not affect the weather or exclude you from planet earth. Such delusion is all in your own head. That is all.

  • DeAnn Y

    What a stupid excuse for not plowing…moving cars? I lived in Minneapolis and St. Paul they announced which side of the street you were allowed to park your car on TV and then would plow the other side and it was oppposite the following day. Is this complicated?

  • JAMIE L

    DIGGING OUT OF OUR OWN PARKING SPACES ARE ONE THING, BUT WHEN WE GET OUT OF THE PARKING SPACES WE THEN GO OFF OUR PARKING LOTS OR SPACES INTO A STREET (THAT THE CITY OWN) AND GET STUCK. WE CAN NOT GO ANY FURTHER THAN THE CORNER. WE HAVE TO MISS WORK OR BE LATE HOPING FOR RESCUE FOR LACK OF CITY PLANING. THEY HAVE NOT EVEN ATTEMPTED TO CLEAR A SIDE STREET. THEY BARELY CLEAR THE MAIN STREETS GOING DOWN IN SOME AREAS SUCH AS GRAND, MLK, PAGE, SOME OF KINGSHIGHWAY. CLEARING DOWNTOWN IS OK BUT WHAT GOOD IS IT WHEN THE PEOPLE WHO WORK DOWNTOWN CANNOT MAKE IT TO WORK. PLEASE STOP THE LYING!! WE KNOW YOU DO NOT CARE ABOUT OUR CITY AREAS SO PLEASE DON’T ACT LIKE YOU DO.

  • Judy Shrout

    I grew up in St Louis city, I’m 62 now. I started driving in ’72. The city always plowed side streets after the main streets. I don’t know why the mayor & the streets director is saying it’s never been done since the early 1900’s! I would shovel a path into & out of my space in front of my house & it never failed, they would plow it back up & I’d have to shovel again.

  • vondareese@ymail.com

    I think its a wonderful and smart thing to do, CLEANING side street’s in St Louis, City. Great for the Elderly, and for others driving up and down street’s. Thanks Mayor Slay : )

  • Ruth E. Wright

    Thanks Mayor Slay for listening and trying to meet the needs of the residents of St.Louis, living on side streets, after this big snow storm.

    Just a short note to let you know, the slow moving street cleaning vehicle was guided and monitored by another smaller truck, both with flashing lights, up my snow packed, narrow, one-way, double long block in the 58-5900 of Pershing Ave without incident As of 7:30 pm, I can now pull, out of my parking space in front of my house and make it safely to a main street without the fear of getting stuck in the snow, with no one to help me.
    I have often heard other people proclaim that we serve an “On-time God” but now I am a living witness! I didn’t think I was going to be able to get to my doctor’s appt. tomorrow because I couldn’t make it off my block in all this snow and ice. I should have know , if “HE” can move mountains, surely a little snow is not a problem. Praise GOD!

  • Mrs Seddens

    I live at Aubert and Maple and the street has yet to be plow. I understand that the Main Streets should be plow first, but it shouldn’t take the city a week to clear the side streets. So could someone please get this intersection cleared ASAP. Thanks and hopefully I can get off my street in the morning.

  • Lola

    I live in McKinley Heights, just behind McKinley High School and Ann Ave. is horrible. Cars are getting stuck throughout the day and night.

Comments are closed.