Local News

Who Plows Your Street Depends On Where You Live

Posted January 8, 2002 1:17 a.m. EST

— Four days after a winter storm turned streets to slush, a lot of homeowners have given up hope of a snow plow coming to their rescue.

Many Triangle residents are not even sure where to turn for help.

"I actually wasn't sure who was supposed to plow since we're not technically in the city limits, so it's probably the DOT," said homeowner Tom McCann.

Who plows your street depends on who owns it.

For example, the Department of Transportation maintains state roads, such as the beltline. Cities take care of most streets within their limits. Some streets are privately owned by developers or a homeowner's association.

Keeping track can be confusing, even for the experts.

Over the weekend, Wake County school officials asked the DOT to plow two dozen roads the state does not own.

"There are a lot of roads that aren't on our system. We had to e-mail them back and advise them that these roads were not state-maintained roads," according to DOT engineer Jerry Linder.

Even if a snow plow does come down a particular street, there is no guarantee that it will solve all weather-related problems. Most of the state and city trucks are equipped to move snow and drop salt, but not remove ice.

"Scraping ice is not what [the trucks] were designed for. The road graders are the only thing that can get packed ice up, and there are only so many of those," Vern Hackney of Wake County Schools said.

If the street has the initials SR, for state road, and a number on it, the DOT is supposed to plow it.

Residents who pay homeowner's dues may live on a private street. In that case, it is up to the homeowner's association to arrange for a snow plow.

If it is still unclear who is responsible for clearing a specific street, contact the engineering office in your town to find out.