Buffalo shows off new equipment to fight winter

"We are ready for the winter in Buffalo"

December 05, 2018 - 11:37 am

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - Declaring "we are ready for winter in Buffalo", Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown climbed aboard one of the newest pieces of equipment in the snow fighting fleet for the city.  The annual inspection of the snow fighting fleet came none too soon, with the potential for heavy lake effect snow in the Thursday forecast.

The giant tandem plow the Mayor was checking out costs the city about $180,000 and will be a welcome site for residents who look out on potentially snow-clogged streets. These giant plows do the lions share of the snow removal work for the city, according to Streets Commissioner Steve Stepniak.  Stepniak said, "Forty pieces of those during the major events help us cover the 800 lane miles that we have very effectively".  The streets crews also utilize high-lifts and some smaller plowing equipment to help navigate narrower streets.

One of the biggest hurdles the streets crews face in clearing snow is parked cars that are in violation of the city parking ordinances.  "One stuck car can make all the difference", says city Parking Commissioner Kevin Helfer.  There are a couple major parking restrictions residents need to be aware of in winter weather.  No parking is allowed along the major bus route roadways from 1:30am to 7am.  Parking is also prohibited on one side of the city's several one-way streets from 9am to 4pm. 

When it comes to clearing sidewalks, property owners are responsible for clearing snow from the sidewalks in front of their properties.  The city does, however, have a contract with a private contractor to aid in clearing snow from sidewalks.  "Walkability is a huge thing", says Stepniak.

The city snow fighting crew consists of 70 truck drivers and equipment operators. The snow-fighting fleet is made up of 70 pieces of equipment, representing an approximate $10 million investment.

Salt stored in Buffalo streets facility on Broadway/WBEN Photo


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