Clearing Out: What to Know the Day After the Blizzard in Belmont

While the snow emergency parking ban will be lifted at noon today, Wednesday, Jan. 28, Belmont Department of Public Works Director Jay Marcotte is asking residents to keep their vehicles off of town streets for a bit longer.

“It would be great if our crews could have clear streets to finish plowing,” Marcotte told the Belmontonian on Monday, Jan. 26, hours before the storm hit.

That is just one request from Marcotte and other town officials who are looking to finish

Today, plow operators will begin “widen out” all streets by pushing the accumulated snow back towards the curb line and clearing the intersections. For that reason, Marcotte would like the widest possible clearance for the plows.

In addition, here are some things to know while clearing out the nearly 20 inches of snow that has settled in Belmont:

  • When clearing driveways, snow should be kept on the owner’s property, the tree lawn or in the gutter. Snow should not be deposited onto the street or sidewalk, or across the street onto a neighbor’s sidewalk. It’s actually the law: Section 60-800A of the Town’s General Bylaw.
  • Here’s a tip: Whenever possible, it is best to pile snow to the right of the driveway (as you face the street) to reduce the potential of having it redeposited at the driveway opening when the plows pass.
  • Prevent street flooding by clearing catch basins near your home to allow rain or melting snow to enter the drainage system.
  • At the urging of Belmont Fire Department, residents should shovel and clear fire hydrants of snow in your neighborhood.

“We do our best to shovel out each and every hydrant in town, but doing so takes several days,” said Belmont Fire Chief David Frizzell.  “If we need to use a hydrant that hasn’t been shoveled out yet, it significantly delays the time it takes for the firefighters to get water on the fire.”

And the clock has started on residents clearing sidewalks adjacent to their property. Belmont’s general bylaws requires paved public sidewalks adjacent to residential property to be cleared and made safe for pedestrians. Residents have until 8 p.m. the day following the end of the storm (Thursday, Jan. 29) to clear the sidewalk of snow, slush and ice. For enforcement information, call the Belmont Office of Community Development at 617-993-2664.

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