Read the current snow and ice removal policy.
During snow events, the City of Smithville plows over 100 lane miles of roadway, 89 cul-de-sacs and numerous short, dead end street stubs. This work is completed by 5 employees working extended shifts. The immediate goal during snow storms is to make the roads passable for emergency vehicles and those that must be on the roads.
In order to clear the entire city, the 100 lane miles must be traveled from 2 to 4 times to properly clear streets. In addition, the average cul-de-sac takes 15-20 minutes to properly clear. To complete these tasks, the city maintains a fleet of two large vehicle plows and five pick-up truck plows. The large vehicle plows are assigned the principal duty of opening and clearing the primary and secondary routes, with the five smaller vehicles responsible for residential streets and intersections.
In addition to the 100 lane miles of streets that the City of
Smithville maintains, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) also
maintains several miles of state highways inside our city limits that are
primary routes. MoDOT is responsible for plowing 169 and 92 highways, DD
Highway from Liberty Rd. to 92, F Highway from Litton Way to the Clinton County
line, W highway from 169 to the City Limits, KK Highway. Clay County also
shares some of the responsibility, plowing N. Virginia from 132nd to
144th; N.E. 144th St. east of Virginia; 179th St.; H & H Lake Rd.; 176th
St. from H & H to Thomas Ln.; N. Main St. from 180th to 188th; N.E. 188th
east of F Hwy.; and, N.W. 188th from F Hwy to 169 Hwy.
Depending upon the type and amount of snow expected, the snow policy is designed to remain flexible enough to allow the most efficient use of staff time and equipment. The City’s first priority is to open the city maintained primary arterial streets for emergency vehicle access and other vehicle access. The secondary routes will be the next priority, including all remaining arterials, selected collectors, bus routes, and streets around schools. Once all primary and secondary routes are opened, all other collectors and selected "hot spots" will be opened. Finally, all remaining residential and local streets will be cleared.
To assist in this process, it is advisable to avoid parking on city streets. Any parked cars will delay the process, and can become snow and iced into those locations. In addition to delays due to parked cars, it is required to return to previously cleared streets where homeowners plow or blow the snow from their driveway and sidewalks into the street. This situation often results in obstructed streets, and significant delays to complete snow removal.
The City of Smithville follows the regional custom of plowing all streets by discharging snow towards the right, or the curb of all streets. On most streets this will often result in a ‘windrow’ of snow deposited along the curb and can block previously cleared driveways, mailbox areas and storm drains. This is an unavoidable circumstance of plowing streets, but is necessary to make the streets passable. The impact of windrows can be lessened by a homeowner if they choose to make a windrow clearance area by removing the snow from the city street a width of 6 feet from the curb, and a distance of 24 feet from the edge of your driveway (traveling 24 feet against the flow of traffic) which will allow the plow blade to empty prior to crossing the driveway. Homeowners are required to deposit ALL blown or plowed snow (whether from a driveway, sidewalk or the windrow clearance area) off into the grass area between the sidewalk and the curb, or in their yard area.
In cul-de-sac’s, these methods will not work, as the geometry of the area places most driveways much closer together, and windrows are not created. Any cars parked in a cul-de-sac will reduce the ability of City staff to properly clear the street. Given the much larger amount of snow in a cul-de-sac and the geometry, the plowed snow must be concentrated in the most convenient area that doesn’t include a driveway. This often results in very large snow piles at the end of such streets, often to the dismay of the affected property owner. After all streets have been cleared, the street department will attempt to remove much of this stockpiled snow, but this often occurs several hours or days later.
We understand that this policy can be frustrating to a few homeowners, but it is currently the best option available for the City, given the budget impacts of any deviations from those policies. It is not recommended to attempt to flag down a plow operator during the process as the operator did not set the policy, and is required to not deviate from the policy. In addition to the plow operators’ inability to deviate from this policy, it is dangerous to both you and the operator if you approach a vehicle while in operation. Further, any conversations with the plow operator will result in an unnecessary delay in clearing all streets. Homeowner’s with questions or complaints about the snow removal on their street should contact City Hall at 816-532-3897.
Why is there still snow on the road after the trucks pass?
As the policy indicates, if there is less than 2 inches of snow, the roads are only treated with de-icing material. Above 2 inches, and our street team plows the road so the de-icing material can do its work on the pavement.
Can I park on the street during a snowstorm?
Snow plows cannot successfully clear a street that has cars parked along the curb. Cars parked on the curb will be plowed in by the street crews.
Who plows the highways?
Many streets in Smithville are actually part of the state highway system and plowing them is the responsibility of MoDOT. These streets include 169 Hwy, 92 Hwy, DD Hwy, F Hwy & W Hwy.
What should I do about driving in a snowstorm?
If you don’t have to drive, don’t! If you must drive in severe weather be prepared for the worst. Leave early so you can drive at a safe speed. Allow extra distance between your car and the one ahead of you in case something unexpected happens. Do not assume other drivers are exercising the same extra caution you are. Have emergency supplies (flashlight, blanket, jumper cables) in your car in case of a breakdown or accident. Limit your driving during storms to absolute necessities; the fewer cars there are on the roads, the easier it is for snow removal to be done successfully.
Why did you plow my driveway full of snow?
The street department is responsible for removing snow from the roadways. The process of removal requires the snow to be pushed to the right side/curb of the street. Some residents will be displeased because they have already cleared their driveway and it will be plowed full of snow again. The impact of this can be lessened by a homeowner if they choose to make a windrow clearance area by removing the snow from the city street a width of 6 feet from the curb, and a distance of 24 feet from the edge of your driveway (traveling 24 feet against the flow of traffic) which will allow the plow blade to empty prior to crossing the driveway.
Who clears sidewalks?
Clearing sidewalks is the responsibility of the homeowner/property owner.
Who clears my mailbox?
Residents need to clear the area in front of mailboxes to assure delivery. Mail carriers need to be able to access your mailbox from their vehicle.