Then and now: City talks about snow-clearing changes for this winter

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CLEVELAND-- Driving around Cleveland this past winter became an option instead of an everyday thing for many folks in the city's neighborhoods.

A Fox Eight I-Team investigation revealed that in February close to half of city snow plows  were in disrepair and the neighborhood streets just weren't getting plowed.

“They need more help; yes, they do," Victoria Martovitz of Cleveland said. She said the bad weather kept her at home most days and driving just a few blocks to the store was just not possible.

“I had everything. I didn't need to buy milk or bread; I had everything, but then I had to wait until I could get someone else, but they had to wait too because they didn't have the people," Martovitz said.

And that's the story for many folks whose streets just didn't get plowed or salted. They say the city has to do better.

“I just think they need to put more crews on, be more alert when the snow comes; get rid of it as fast as they can; get more dozers out there or whatever," said Tom Hebebrand .

But the city tells Fox 8 that it will keep the promise it made to city council in the spring that it will be more efficient this winter.

First, public works is getting 30 new trucks that will plow snow in the winter and fix potholes when the weather breaks.

“Normally it takes about 58 trucks for us to staff up for each shift, so basically half of those trucks will now be brand new trucks," City of Cleveland Chief Operating Officer Darnell Brown said.

Next, and perhaps more importantly, they are reorganizing how they move snow.

The city is installing tracking to keep better tabs on its plows and how the 8000 miles of streets get cleaned.

“It will allow us to track 60 of the vehicles that are in the snow, so we know where they are, how much of the city’s been covered in each of the subsections, how many passes they made, if they dropped salt," he said.

Brown said that with the new trucks on the road, roughly 72 percent of the city’s plow fleet will be in fair to better shape.

He said although that may still sound low to many people, he said last year 69 percent of the fleet was in poor shape.

Brown said this is a marked improvement in vehicle readiness.

The city will take delivery of its first new batch of heavy duty trucks next month.

***Continuing coverage on the I-Team investigation into snow plows on city streets**

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