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Old 01-08-2013, 10:12 AM   post #31 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

I will clean the street in front of my place sometimes if the county doesn't, takes to long, or does a crappy job. I do a few neighbors driveways as well from time to time. I try to not make it all the time so that it isn't expected. I know all my neighbors that I help out and they all appreciate it. Several are elderly and usually drop of cookies to my wife while I'm at work. As for the street, I pretty much only do what is in front of my property and I did ask my neighbor if he was OK with me blowing snow into his lawn. He didn't care and likes that the street in front of his place (across from my lawn) is always cleaned edge to edge. I would avoid doing much public street as some people are just looking for someone to sue to get "free" money.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:56 AM   post #32 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

I really am seeing the irony of not being able to legally widen/plow/snowblow a public street to get it cleaned off, but at the same time you cant blow the snow into the road either. I guess its the difference between urban/suburban and rural areas. The local police that live on our road always give a

If I ever DO get reamed for widening our little one and a half car wide road at the stopsign, I will tell them no problem.....and then throw it back into the street. If they fine me, they fine me. Then I will make their lives miserable by complaining about the extra salt they throw in my yard...and where they plow the road wider into my lawn....and dig up my loose blacktop......and throw the salty water in our flowerbeds, general street maintenance etc........
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:23 PM   post #33 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

In my 'state', home owners are responsible for shoveling (to bare) sidewalks. Salt and sand them too. Only then to be plowed back in by the state/town/county. We have town sidewalk plows/blowers as part of the DPW force.
In my 'state', lawn tractors (and garden tractors) have to be registered and insured to travel upon public ways. Not to mention, they have to be state inspected, with proper state equiped items such as brake lights, headlights, seat belts, etc. 'Public way' includes the sidewalk.
Yup, can't push snow across the street,, even if you own there.
Can't push snow from your driveway onto the street. Any snow has to be pushed into the winrow, onto the roadside.
The town is not liable for any damage caused to your property, within the street layout, generalloy 40 ft..
Glad to see everyone clears out the mail boxes. Gotta get them bills delivered.
How about digging out them there fire hydrants, 3-4 ft. on all sides, and break thru to the roadway, too. Make sure the location pole/flag is visible.

Last edited by engine2quarters; 01-08-2013 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:56 PM   post #34 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

I see people push snow across the road all the time, & only get warnings not to do it, I just love to drive my vehicle thru ice chucks that are left behind.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:19 AM   post #35 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

We have a fire hydrant near the street thats "barely" within our property boundary lines...I used to clear snow away from it,until we learned we had to now pay a 900 dollar per year "betterment fee" for it being located within several hundred feet of our home....after that I let the town DPW come dig it out...I'd probably get run over trying to shovel it out anyway,so let them risk their lives doing it,they get paid for it!....for 900 bucks a year I'd be glad to shovel it out after each storm,but for free???...sorry...

Last spring the water department came around with metal detectors,and put small blue flags over the water shut off valves located near the road along the side of everyones driveway...the sewer expansion project got sidelined for a year or more after they decided they lacked sufficient funds,but they never came back to remove the marker flags..if I hadn't remembered to yank it out,the thin wire "mast" the flag mounts on would certainly have puntured a tractor or truck tire like a ice pick while plowing,lucky the snow was not deep enough to cover it completely,and I saw it!.......I lost count how many times I came "this close" to mulching it while mowing with my tractor too,all year...we are in no hurry to see the sewer project completed,because we'll either be forced to pay 6+ grand to hook up to it,or face a big hassle later on after its done to hook into it...or sell the house with a septic system that wont pass their new "standards" probably...it'll also open up every vacant lot to home builders,and there are too many people living too close together already...then you'll really have problems plowing,you will not have ANY place to pile it without someone whining!...
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:56 PM   post #36 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

around here neighbors dont mind me plowing their drives or running tractors in their yards (except one accross the street) i mow my neighbors yard sometimes in the spring and summer time to test mowers out and in winter time i mess with the drive to test pushing power of my tractors
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:04 PM   post #37 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

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Originally Posted by wayneb View Post
I thought I was doing a good deed by plowing my street after a 2 foot snowfall but I was surprised when 3 people complained about having to shovel the end of their driveway to get out. I plowed with the blade angled toward the curb just like the city plow would do so I guess you just can't please everyone. I live on a Crescent that is low priority for the city plows and it often takes a day or two before it gets plowed after a storm.
I'm still amazed with that machine of yours.

I've been doing some sidewalks around the neighborhood,and by the time I get around to doing them some residents have already shoveled their walks from the house to the street,so I slow way down and change the V-blade to scoop mode so it eliminates most if not all blade spilloff.I guess you could do the same thing with your power angle straight blade.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:09 PM   post #38 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

The most I would do is around my own mailbox and a strip along the very edge of the street to be able to walk to my neighbor's driveway. I get nervous anytime I disturb the snow in the street, as I figure any berm or trench I create could mess up someone driving through in a car. I would not do it.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:10 PM   post #39 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

I guess there's a lot of downside or potential downside. Another question is what is the risk of any of this downside coming to bear upon me? Despite the potential downside of plowing a public street, I went ahead and did it. Everyone I saw seemed encouraging. They either waved or thanked me. I saw one lady later who was removing the snow from her downspout drainage pipe at the road. So I guess I caused her a little grief. And I piled some snow in front of driveways. And I suppose I was a little noisy.

It ended up being a much bigger job than I expected. It was a quarter of a mile of road and probably 3 car widths wide. I spent 3 hours on it. Much more than I intended.

What may be somewhat unique to this situation is that the City of Columbus does not plow, salt or do a **** thing to secondary streets - at least, not in my neighborhood. Like I originally stated, they've plowed my street 3 times total in 13 years. And that's not 3 times a year for 13 years. That's once (1) every four (4) years. So, in essence, we get NO (ZERO, 0) snow removal and people just drive over the snow until it becomes hard packed ice.

This particular stretch of road is practically a quiet cul-de-sac so traffic is a very minor concern as well.

I'm not too concerned about potential liability because anyone who wanted to go after me would have to show that I somehow made the situation worse than it was. I think it is pretty hard to make it worse than it was. They would have to show what the condition of the road was before I did anything and then what it was after I finished - not too mention any intervening factors like additional snow/ice that occurred afterwards. Generally, ice and snow are considered obvious hazards which would require someone to show that they weren't negligent in their own injury. In other words, you saw the ice/snow, yet proceeded over it and you fell or had an accident. You assumed the risk in doing so. I know that in our day and age, no one can point the finger at themselves and accept the blame for something they did wrong. Everyone always wants to sue/blame someone else for their own screw-ups. And sure someone can sue me for just about anything they can imagine in their minds; however, they still have to find a lawyer who will take the case and a judge/jury who will agree with them. Although, I don't want to be in such a situation, is a jury really going to make me liable for helping the community?

I did find the following case which deals with private (not public) property and states that liability can result if, by negligent removal of the snow, a more hazardous condition was somehow created. The court didn't specifically state what the evidence was showing that a more treacherous condition resulted from the snow removal. I would be curious to find out what the facts were in that case.

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Maybe I won't be so eager to plow the public street in the future but when I finish my drive in 20 minutes, I may get that itch to continue.

Last edited by churioz; 01-10-2013 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:18 PM   post #40 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

In the event of an accident, the person injured might not be the one to sue, it may be their insurance company trying to avoid paying!
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:23 PM   post #41 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

Churioz, I know what you mean about Columbus side streets, I have to travel some with my job, it's not even funny idling over frozen tire tracks.
I bet if someone important lived on your street the snow wouldn't have a chance.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:35 PM   post #42 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

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Originally Posted by walterjay View Post
Call your County and request that they plow the road. Make a nusiance of yourself if you must. Never plow a County Road. If you are not specifically insured to plow county property, stay away. There were some legal issues in my area concerning just this.
Yup Im sure this guy who is paid by the county is just the lowest bider and just happens to to busy to clean your area or his equipment is broke.

Here in Michigan a permit is required if your doing it for business purpose . That permit is a way the city can track you down if their has been any problems or damage to property in that area due to plowing.

Did the plow thing a few times . Just up to the main street and back . It was just a crazy year of deep snow is the only reason I did it.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:46 PM   post #43 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

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In the event of an accident, the person injured might not be the one to sue, it may be their insurance company trying to avoid paying!
Yes!!

Several years ago my son was in a sledding accident. He was coming down the neighbors hill on a sled and could not stop on the ice. He hit a tree a few feet into my property and had to be flown out by medivac. ( He was ultimately OK ) Our insurance company paid for it all, but a few weeks after their paying, the insurance company legal department sent me a lengthy questionaire that I was required to fill out. Had the injury occured a few feet earlier on my neighbors property, they were prepared to sue him to re-coup all of their costs.

Insurance companies don't give a damned that you were being helpful. You will pay. They look for any way that they can re-coup costs. It is strictly business. I have seen it happen several times with other situations. They have the power and money to go after you. They can also sue several parties simultaneously and assess a portion of liability to you and a portion to someone else.

It is a complex legal subject.

If you want to keep plowing, you should consult an attorney for farther clarification.

I don't mean to sound negative, but I have seen people bitten in similar situations.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:11 PM   post #44 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

This thread brings up some interesting stuff I hadn't thought about. Especially the "being sued by an insurance company thing".

I live at the back of a 3-4/10s mile private road. Technically it's common/shared ground for 5 houses. There is no HOA nor was there any vehicle built into the original development/deeds allowing for one thankfully. Common around here. There is a small amount of grass at the entrance that also needs to be mowed. We generally share the work.

I often plow/blow the road. We used to hire someone years ago but he was unreliable. So several of us bought snow removal equipment. We have cleared the road with walk behind blowers a few times over the years. The beginning of the road is a steep hill that is always in shade. It T's into a 1.5 lane county road on a steep hill. Still kinda country around here.
The private hill!




Over the years just about everyone on this road has slid or spun around on ice on this hill. I've pulled a few neighbors back up or straightened them out with my 4x4.

Most everyone has done some of the clearing work over the years. Or I'll scrape it and someone else will throw some salt down ect. That hill can collect ice though. We get a lot of sleet here and freezing rain over a couple of inches of snow. Sometimes I'll plow the 2"-3" of slushy stuff off before it freezes at night. It still leaves ice sometimes but better patchy 1/4" than 2" of ice!

Never really thought much about liability. I don't think any of the people on this street would ever sue if they slid off the road. But the sued by insurance thing gives me reason to think about it. I do have some umbrella liability insurance. It is a private road and is marked with a white instead of green street sign. Here this means privately owned. Just like a driveway we have to pay a contractor for paving ect. And each landowner had to sign a county maintenance agreement with regards to that. I wonder about liability if a visitor to another house or just the general public spun out on it. Or fell walking. We often put wood/coal stove ash down for traction in the slick spots.

I guess I'm just glad I don't live in MA!
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:44 AM   post #45 of 52
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Default Re: Downsides to snow plowing a public road

Quote:
Originally Posted by churioz View Post
What may be somewhat unique to this situation is that the City of Columbus does not plow, salt or do a **** thing to secondary streets - at least, not in my neighborhood. Like I originally stated, they've plowed my street 3 times total in 13 years. And that's not 3 times a year for 13 years. That's once (1) every four (4) years. So, in essence, we get NO (ZERO, 0) snow removal and people just drive over the snow until it becomes hard packed ice.
Why are you and your neighbors not bringing this to the attention of the public works director (or higher up if that doesn't work)? You and your neighbors pay taxes that cover snow removal on the street in front of your house; I'm not saying you should/will get priority, but it should be plowed after each significant snow storm (they likely have a policy that says they don't plow side streets unless it's X inches deep).
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