PULLMAN, Wash. – With snow in the forecast, crews at Washington State University Facilities Operations are gearing up for another heavy snow season.
Ropes and signs have begun to appear across the Pullman campus guiding pedestrians away from critical “no snow removal areas.”
“The biggest threat comes when people stray outside the clear pathways,” said Ev Davis, assistant vice president for FacOps. “We do our best to keep our roads and pathways clear, but Mother Nature can sometimes get the best of us.”
How it works
WSU heavy equipment work crews begin removing snow at 4 a.m. after an evening storm, with snow removal on the streets lasting until midnight during the work week, said Davis.
For sidewalks, grounds crew snow removal begins as early as 5 a.m. and is maintained until 5 p.m. as necessary.
Snow removal in parking lots can only be accomplished after hours and is done in lots according to descending order of priority. In most parking areas, cars MUST be removed overnight for snow removal crews to do their work.
In most cases, snow removal is not provided after hours or on weekends unless special events are taking place on campus. When weather conditions dictate, crews may be available until midnight to maintain cleared roadways for Pullman Transit Services buses running on campus.
Clearing snow based on priorities
Snow removal priorities are based upon emergency access to main arterials. Sidewalks, ramps and stairways are cleared according to high usage and handicap access.
Every street, road, sidewalk and stairway on campus has been analyzed for type and volume of use and placed on a priority list for coverage.
Parking lots also are plowed based on priority, but the snow berms and piles are removed at night when the lots empty out.
Snow plows, removal equipment should be afforded the right of way
Pedestrians and vehicles should allow a wide safety area around plows/equipment when they are working. While operators try to watch out, their main focus is on the job of removing snow for public safety. Walking or driving too closely behind equipment can create unsafe conditions.
Areas listed
Here is a list of links to WSU snow removal areas:
Staying safe
“The most important thing to remember is, if there is a problem, call us at 335-9000,” said Davis. “We can’t be everywhere and, if you see an area that is clearly unsafe and needs to be addressed, we want to know about it.”
Davis recommended those walking on campus use extra precautions, noting that many of last year’s falls were the result of pedestrians not paying attention to the surface conditions or wearing inappropriate footwear for winter weather.
Recognize that traveling across campus, whether afoot or in a vehicle, will take a bit longer, he said. And plan that into your travel time so you aren’t rushing.
Check out the WSU Facilities Operations website for additional information
If you have questions or want to report a problem, contact:
For the latest in weather news and possible warnings, go to WSU Alert & Emergency News
Ev Davis, WSU Facilities Operations, ev_davis@wsu.edu, 509-335-9002
Media contact:
Darin Watkins, WSU News, darin.watkins@wsu.edu, 509-335-4456