Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Valerie Ervin Calls for Review of Snow Removal Operations

In response to many complaints from constituents, Council Member Valerie Ervin is requesting that the council's Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy & Environment (T&E) Committee hold a work session to review snow removal operations. Following is Ervin's memo to T&E Chair and Council President Nancy Floreen.


To: Council President Nancy Floreen, Chair, Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T&E) Committee
From: Council Vice President Valerie Ervin
Date: December 22, 2009
Subject: Snow Removal Operations

On December 19 and 20, the Washington, DC region received 16 to 24 inches of snowfall. During the snowfall, the County implemented snow removal operations on main County roadways and emergency routes. According to standard procedure, the County began neighborhood plowing once the snowfall ended.

However, I received many calls from residents regarding snow removal operations and the condition of their neighborhood streets days after the storm. I am concerned that down-county residents had to wait longer than other areas of the County for roads to be cleared. As you know, many seniors and residents with health issues live in District 5, and it is critical for many of these residents to have their streets cleared as soon as possible.

As the representative for District 5 and the Council s representative to the Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, I would like to request the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T&E) Committee take up snow removal operations at an upcoming worksession. Specifically, I would like the Committee to review how snow removal equipment is deployed. I know that the crews worked extremely diligently to perform their jobs during this snow emergency, and I salute their efforts. I simply want to ensure that the processes and procedures related to their deployment are equitable.

Further, I am proud to hear that many residents are willing to step forward and help shovel the driveways and sidewalks of those residents unable to do so. However, I was notified that, contrary to public information on the County s website, the County s Volunteer Center will not be coordinating volunteers, as it had done in previous years. I would like to request the Committee also discuss the removal of snow on walkways throughout the County, as well as the utilization of volunteers in this effort.

Please feel free to contact my office with any questions.


Valerie Ervin
Councilmember District 5

c: Councilmembers
Timothy Firestine, Chief Administrative Officer
Arthur Holmes, Jr., Director, Department of Transportation
Glenn Orlin, Deputy Director, Montgomery County Council