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.