St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay announces plan to plow side streets

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)--Because of a barrage of complaints from city residents, the city of St. Louis is changing a policy that dates back to the turn of the last century.

The city will begin plowing side streets in the city.

City crews have never plowed or even salted side streets before. But almost a foot of snow and sub-zero cold have caused city residents to complain loud and long about the state of side streets.

So St. Louis officials are changing the policy. Forty narrower plows have been out since 1 p.m. Thursday.

They’re warning that people parked on the side streets may get their cars snowed in by the plows.

"We are gonna hit a few cars, and we're gonna have some problems. We are gonna take a few mirrors off some cars, but it's all about removing this snow and trying to do it in the safest manner possible," said City Streets Director Todd Waelterman.

It’s a relief to some, who have been stuck for days, but not for everyone, since all that excess snow doesn’t just disappear. It can make messy intersections even worse and bury vehicles.

St. Louis Resident Scott Crysl explains, “I think it’s probably good and bad, good because people can get down the streets, but I know it kind of piles up snow on the side, and people have to dig their cars out again.”

We spoke to some plow drivers as they were mapping out their routes.  Response from the public, they said, was 50/50: some were giving them a big thumbs up, while others cursed them for creating snow banks around their cars and driveways.  City Streets Director Todd Waelterman explains, “Someone might have dug their car out already, and if they’re on the unlucky side of the plow, they’re gonna have to dig again.”

But so many residents have complained about the unplowed streets, that it’s something Mayor Francis Slay felt he needed to experiment with. He explains, “Too many people have been getting stuck on these side streets, too many people cannot get off their streets. They’re angry, and I hear them.”

The city doesn't know if this will be a one time thing or become a permanent plan. The city wants to know if you think they should plow residential streets. Click here to give your feedback.

City residents upset over non-plowed side streets

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