Feb 8, 2022 - News

Chicago might consider Evanston-style snow plowing

Cars on streets with snow

Chicago side streets (left) on Sunday morning were still lined with snow, unlike in Evanston (right), where the city asks residents to move cars during certain hours for thorough street plowing. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

After digging out from another snowy week, we've heard the usual gripes about dibs and uncleared side streets.

  • Ald. Ray López went so far as to remove dibs junk in his ward.
  • Some have suggested temporarily banning parking on one side of the street — as they do in Minneapolis–St. Paul and Evanston — to let plows clear it.

Why it matters: Chicago has already made two notably disastrous attempts to do this.

What they're saying: Chicago's Chief Snow Officer (aka Streets and Sanitation Commissioner) Cole Stallard says the city's plowing system is getting much more efficient through a navigation app that tracks drivers and shows optimal routes for the streets that need more plowing.

  • The city won't try the Evanston/Twin Cities method of moving cars for plowing this year, but Stallard says he will be commissioning "experts to compile data on the number of cars and temporary parking spaces we'd need to make it work."

As for the great dibs debate, Stallard dodged this question like it was a barrage of icy snowballs.

  • He said instead that he'll send warnings out at the end of February for people to "take your aunt's favorite chair back inside."

The big picture: Stallard asks Chicagoans to "be neighborly" and help others on the block.

  • He also asks that snow be shoveled onto the parkway, not "back into the middle of the street after plows have come through."

What's next: We'll follow up later this year on that feasibility study on moving cars for plowing.

Snowy street
Side streets looked like this on Sunday in south Minneapolis, where folks move their cars to let plows get through Photo: Torey Van Oot/Axios

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