Topeka City Council polled how to treat roads; Now, you can vote too

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The Topeka City Council voted on their ideal snow treatment for roads beyond emergency routes, and now you can, too.

In a Dec. 18 city council meeting, Public Works Director Jason Peek presented a “Snow Ice Operations Level of Service Survey” to the council and the mayor. The survey contained five photos of tiers of treatment for snow and ice-covered roads, ranging from “clear street” with visible pavement, to “plowed” with snow plowed but still present with ice on roads, to “no action” with snow and ice still blanketing the roads.

Peek asked the council to pick a photo that best depicted “the expectation on secondary routes like residential streets” for snow treatment. Peek also asked them what the expected response time for snow treatment should be. He would then take the council’s responses and run an estimate on costs to make that treatment and response time the standard for the city.

Peek also presented this map, which shows how crews categorize Topeka’s roads and which to treat:

The council members’ votes on the treatment photos are not yet public, but several did give comments to Peek during the meeting:

  • District 3’s councilwoman, Sylvia Ortiz, asked if there was a way to prioritize roads with hills over flat streets. Peek said they have not prioritized roads, but are looking into “route optimization” for cleanup crews.
  • District 4’s councilman, Tony Emerson, said it was important to remember every winter storm is different, and that sun exposure to melt snow should be considered while treating.
  • District 1’s Karen Hiller said she recalled their policy for treating residential roads was only if four to six inches of snow had fallen. Hiller also said she had previously heard complaints from residents who had snow plowed from the residential roads back onto their driveways.

You can cast your vote on the same snow treatment photos that the city council saw below:

Watch the Snow and Ice Operations presentation to the city council:

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