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Penfield News

- A message from the Department of Public Works re winter safety and rules

Winter, snow, and ice will soon be upon us. Our Department of Public Works is prepared for the season and ready to keep Penfield roads safe for all who travel in our town. DPW crews manage 18 plow routes covering 445 miles of roads with 21 plow/salt trucks. We also plow 45 sidewalk miles with 3 plows.

Even with all our resources, we depend on residents to do their part to keep roads clear and safe for all. 

With that in mind, please note the following winter rules and safety reminders:

Never race or pass a snowplow.

For your own safety, never pass a plow on the right, stay back 100 feet, be aware of your surroundings, and remember that many of our trucks weigh in excess of 30,000 lbs. with plow, wing and a load of salt. When in an accident, plows tend to suffer minor damage but cars can be totaled and injuries can be serious. Please give yourself time to travel to your destination and give our crews the space they need to perform their duties to clear roadways.

Do not move snow from your property onto the roadway or a neighbor’s property. 

Section 1219 of the Vehicle and Traffic law and section 214 of the Highway Law of New York State specifically prohibit placing snow, ice or other substances upon the highway, including pavement, shoulders, and ditches. These restrictions include pushing snow across a highway or into a cul-de-sac. 

Your snow is your snow—you may only plow, blow or shovel snow onto your own property. Many neighbors complain about violations of this law during the winter months. Failure to comply with these laws may result in a visit, tickets, and fines from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. If you contract with a snow plowing service please share this communication and ask them to ensure you are in compliance with the law. 

Winter parking rules are in effect November 15 to April 1.

This means no parking is allowed on all roads and highways between 2:00 AM and 7:00 AM to allow DPW crews to safely and effectively maintain roads. Vehicles in violation of this rule will be towed at the owner’s expense.

The town will replace mailboxes only when damaged by a direct strike from a town-operated plow blade.

Regrettably, mailboxes are damaged by plows in extreme winter conditions and during storm events. (Roadside mailboxes are placed in the highway right-of-way as a courtesy to the US Postal Service, making them vulnerable to damage by town and private plows or passing cars in winter months.)

Mailbox damage from plows occurs either from the extreme force of snow coming off a blade or from a direct hit from a blade. In most cases, snow force it the cause of damage, especially when there is rapid snowfall and low visibility. 

When a damaged mailbox or post shows evidence of an impact, it was probably struck directly by a town or private contractor’s plow blade or a passing vehicle. The angle at which the mailbox has fallen can help determine the source of damage. Before moving a damaged mailbox try to determine if the angle is consistent with traffic flow or a nearby driveway. Take a photo if you can.

If you believe your mailbox was damaged by a town plow blade strike please call the DPW at 585.340.8710. If you have a photo of the damaged mailbox please email it to highway@penfield.org along with your address and contact information. If the damage is determined to have been caused by a blade strike from a town-operated plow the Town of Penfield will replace the mailbox with a standard-issue silver metal box and a single 4x4 post. However, if damage was caused by snow force alone, the town will not replace the mailbox. 

If you hire a private contractor to plow your driveway please be sure to learn the company’s policy regarding damage to your (or your neighbor’s) property caused by their operators or equipment. 

Thank you for your cooperation on these public safety matters. Together, we will do our best to keep Penfield roadways safe for all this winter season. If you have questions or concerns about any of this information please contact us at 585.340.8710.

Sincerely,

Town of Penfield Department of Public Works




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