DOTI crews have been hitting the streets prepping for the winter storm.
- Welcome back to CBS 4 this morning. We want to take a live look from our Mountain Cam. You can see, we do have some wet road conditions. And that's just going to get snowier as the day goes on.
This morning, we are joined by Heather Burke with Denver's Department of Transportation. She's joining us now via Zoom. Good morning to you, Heather. We appreciate you taking the time to talk with us. This storm is moving in pretty slow. Even the cats are excited about it.
HEATHER BURKE: Yeah, sorry. I wanted to say my cat just made her Channel 4 debut.
- Hey, you know? That's OK. That's the way this works in 2020 and 2021, as we still do things on Zoom.
Now, as this storm is moving in, I know you guys have been prepared for some time now. But really, what is the plan to take care of city streets?
HEATHER BURKE: For us, this is what we consider a top-tier storm. So we are going to have around-the-clock coverage once snow starts to accumulate. So that's our big plows on the main streets. We'll have 24/7 coverage of our residential plows on those side streets. And we're also going to have drivers operate that heavy equipment. So that'll be utilized in case we see any kind of snow drifting or anything like that. So we're ready to go. And yeah, we're just waiting on the snow to start accumulating. But we're ready to go.
- We are all waiting for this slow-moving storm. But it's on its way. We've been watching that, Ashton Altieri, of course, tracking it. Folks always wonder, well, wait a minute, when's my neighborhood going to get plowed? How come my street hasn't been plowed? So what does it take to have those residential side streets cleared?
HEATHER BURKE: So with the residential plows, one thing that I would like to remind people is they take one pass down every side street in Denver during their 12-hour shift. They don't go to bare pavement. And they don't drop deicing material. Now, their job is to really help prevent that deep ice running and help people access the main streets.
- And we know, of course, people aren't always in their vehicles. And everybody's being asked, obviously, to avoid the roads right now as this storm moves in. But a lot of folks travel on bike. So are you also working to clear bike lanes, or is that difficult as well when we have this much snow anticipated? We got feet of snow on the side of the road here.
HEATHER BURKE: Yeah, when this type of snow is in the forecast, bike lanes, especially the ones that are on street, they're going to get very snow packed and icy very quickly. So our big plows will do the best they can to get curb to curb. In the meantime, we advise people on bikes to be prepared to ride in a shared lane condition.
And then as far as those protected bike lanes that we have, the ones that have barrier protection to separate people in bikes and vehicles, we actually have a smaller plow that addresses those protected bike lanes. And our goal is to do those with the same frequency as the main streets. So that's about one or two passes per 12-hour shift is what our goal is.
- Also, especially in the Denver metro area, parking is an issue for a lot of folks. They do park on the street. That can get tricky for your plows. So what do you recommend for folks who might not be able to either move their car off of the street? Or how can your plows make sure that we don't have any accidents, right?
HEATHER BURKE: Yeah, our plows are going to do the best they can to plow around those parked vehicles. But with this type of snowstorm, that's going to cause some challenging travel conditions. We really recommend that folks try to park off street if they can. Don't park on the street. And that's so it helps our big plows be able to get curb to curb when they're plowing.
- All right. Heather, thank you so much. Heather Burke with Denver's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, we do appreciate you joining us.