Questions of the Week — Readers ask about snow removal in city and county

The following questions were asked recently by inquiring readers:


Q: How many maintainers does the county have, for moving snow?
A: The county has 14 total. During the recent situation, when they were moving snow, one of the machines went down with repair needs. But 13 were in operation, as well as trucks with blades.


Q: I just want to say thank you to the city crews for getting my street open and digging us out as fast as they did with our latest unprecedented storm.
My question is how do they decide which streets to plow first? And why do they pile the snow up in the downtown area like they do?
A: According to the city’s office of public works, “the removal of snow and ice from travel corridors is completed in stages. The city prioritizes streets based on public safety services, traffic volumes and functional classifications. Priority is placed on main arterial roads, public safety services (hospital, EMS, fire, police), schools and high traffic volume streets, while side streets and residential streets are secondary. Once priority streets are sufficiently cleared, the crews move to residential areas. Each crew member has primary and secondary routes, again placing priority on public safety services, schools and streets with high traffic volumes. The timing of plowing greatly depends on the timing of a storm and input from the local public safety departments.”
They also said further how streets in the downtown area have insufficient space to plow snow to the side of the road. On those streets, the snow is piled in the center of the road, with one lane of traffic on both sides of the snow pile. Crews then remove those piles once all other streets are cleared, which typically occurs the day following an event, if possible. When the snow piles are removed from the downtown area, the city offices always ask for all vehicles to be removed from on-street parking spots in the downtown area.


Q: I know everyone has been working hard to move snow and there is a lot to move. I saw some people blowing snow, though, into the street, from their driveway, in York. Isn’t that supposed to be illegal?
A: City Code, Section 34-41 says it is “unlawful for any person to deposit or pile any snow or ice removed from roofs, driveways, parking lots, service stations, streets or alleys upon any sidewalk, street or alley within the city.”


Q: I was reading how equipment sometimes became stuck while trying to move snow in the rural area. My question is what happens then?
A: When a patrol unit (maintainer) gets stuck, another patrol unit has to be taken out of a removal area in order to go to the other site to pull it out. So when one gets stuck, it also delays the work the other patrol machine was doing.


Q: My grandma used to make a dish called Calico Beans. It was a form of baked beans but so much better. I have loved reading the Deliciously Dirty Pages feature on your website and was hoping maybe in that collection of old cookbooks of yours you can find an old-fashioned recipe for Calico Beans.
A: We found one from the 1960s:

  • ¼ pound bacon (finely diced)
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • ½ cup onion (diced)
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 can pork and beans
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can butter lima beans

Pepper to taste
Do not drain the beans.
Brown diced bacon and hamburger. Put browned meat and all the rest of the ingredients into casserole dish. Bake low and slow in a 300-degree oven for at least 1 ½ hours.

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