The City of North Bend works to ensure a safe and accessible transportation system at all times, including during inclement weather. The Snow Removal Policy provides information on code requirements, snow removal priorities, the City's use of de-icer, homeowner responsibilities, and more.
1. Goal: The primary goal of the City’s snow removal policy is to provide a safe and accessible transportation system and doing so efficiently and cost-effectively during inclement weather and winter storm events.
2. Immediate Priorities: Opening life safety corridors and attending to emergencies take priority over other snow removal activities.
3. Snow Accumulation for Street Removal: Snow removal on streets begins at an accumulation of 1 to 2 inches, which is determined by the Public Works Director or designee.
4. Performance Target: The snow removal performance target is to complete initial snow removal operations within 24 hours after the end of each snow event. Specifically, that means that all Priority 1-3 Routes are passible for 2-way vehicles. This does not mean the roads will be snow-free from curb-to-curb or pavement-edge to pavement-edge. The City has an excess of 88 travel lane miles that will take significant staff time and resources to complete.
5. Pavement Surface Condition: The City aims to make routes passable but does not strive for "black asphalt" conditions. Focus is to provide safe passage for the traveling public rather than removing all ice and snow.
6. Priority System: In coordination with emergency services, the City’s snow removal routes are determined by the City's established priority system, as indicated on the annually updated Snow Removal Priority Map (see website). Priority 1 Routes are addressed first, followed by Priority 2 and Priority 3.
7. De-Icer Program: The City’s de-icer program considers factors such as cost, environmental impact, location, and public safety when determining application rates and locations. Different road features such as roundabouts receive increased de-icer usage. The City uses two de-icers materials, which are a sand / salt mix and Ice-Slicer.
8. Anti-Icer Program: The City does not have an anti-icer program because of the high costs to implement, it would require additional staffing and new equipment, public health concerns due to increased likelihood of drinking water - well contamination, vehicle corrosion, environmental impact, and proportionally few steep streets in North Bend city limits.
9. Operator Care and Resident Cooperation: City snowplow operators will make efforts to avoid damage to areas adjoining the street, and residents/businesses are urged to keep items away from obstructing the right-of-way during snow events.
10. Homeowner Responsibility: Abutting residents or property owners are responsible for removing the "snow berm" or "snow wrinkle" created by City snowplow operators at private driveway entrances.
11. Sidewalk Snow Removal: Snow removal on sidewalks along publicly owned properties, such as parks and City facilities, shall be performed by the City and will begin at snow accumulations > 4 inches and after all Priority 1 – 3 Routes are passable.
12. Code Requirement: North Bend Municipal Code mandates homeowners and business owners shall promptly remove snow from sidewalks adjacent to their properties. This requirement can be found on page 68 of the Public Works Standards (see website link).
13. Damage Responsibility: In the event there is snowplow damage from City services such as a fence or other private improvements within City right-of-ways, the repairs, costs, and replacements will be the responsibility of each property owner.
14. Post-Winter Storm Cleanup: The City’s goal is to remove sand from streets within two weeks following the end of each snowstorm event.