We pay our taxes, so that means our streets should be plowed.

At least, that's how you'd guess how it works, right? Let's slow our collective role, because there's more to it than that.

How does it work? How does the Ada County Highway District decide who's most deserving of getting their snow plowed? For the record, they currently have 44 plows on hand, and obviously they can't be everywhere at once. I mean, they're not Santa Clause.

ACHD communications officer Shandy Lam explains:

Our crews start prepping for winter operations way back in July and August. So that’s when they start learning their routes, and getting all the practice they need under their belt to be really comfortable with winter operations.

Can we get some specifics? While ACHD doesn't provide a block-by-block plan of who gets their snow plowed first, they do have some priorities over others. Including:

  • The most-driven roadways and intersections
  • Roads with steep grades
  • Routes to and from hospitals
  • Routes to and from schools

If that doesn't include you, Lam elaborates on how us residential folk can handle all the snow in front of our houses:

Since … residential neighborhoods are a lower priority for us, we’ve given the opportunity for residential neighborhoods to be able to bring in private companies if they would like a plow or would like road treatment.

Not exactly the answer we were looking for.

Our advice? If you can't count on your street being plowed, put snow tires on your vehicle. You'll be tearing through the snow like you're in a small tank.

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