Snow crews working to alleviate traffic jams

Posted at 5:34 PM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 17:50:54-05

The dig out continues and there's still a lot left to be done. Most roadways are passable, but now it's traffic that's creating a nightmare for commuters.

The Baltimore City Department of Transportation is aware of the delays and has been working overnight to clear off lanes and shoulders to alleviate congestion.

“Two lanes going into one lane, of course that happens very quickly, so that does cause a lot of bottlenecks and backups so that's why we're encouraging people to allow any additional travel time. But with us having our crews out we're hoping that will quickly diminish over the next day or two,” said Kathy Dominick, a spokeswoman with the Baltimore City Department of Transportation.

Their plan is to prohibit parking on certain roads overnight so that snow removal crews can work along specific city routes.

Officials are asking drivers to avoid parking on select roads starting Thursday evening through Friday morning at 5 a.m. Find the full list here. They will be relocating cars on those roads in order to get by, but they won't be ticketing or fining anyone.

“At this point we're trying to clear our gateways from curb to curb, clear all of the parking lanes and travel lanes, so that we can increase capacity on our gateways into and out of the city,” Dominick said.

She added that the city will begin to crack down on drivers who park along snow emergency routes. “We are ticketing and towing now cars from snow emergency routes. We did relocate for almost a week to give people a chance to get their cars off the roadways, but at this point we have to ticket and tow so that we can get these streets open,” she said.

In addition, they’ve been lenient on parking in places usually subject to fines, but now they will be enforcing parking violations as usual, particularly ones that pose a safety risk.

“Fire hydrants, crosswalks, bus stops these cars [that park in front] will be ticketed and towed,” said Dominick.

And while snow removal crews have been hard at work, there were still some streets waiting for a plow.

“I mean luckily I have a lot of vacation time stored up,” said Robert Day, a Hampden resident. “I've seen them on Union Ave., I've seen them on 83, but I haven't seen a single city truck come our way.”

The neighbors on West 37th street in Hampden started to shovel themselves out, but didn't make it all the way.

“No salt, no plow, nothing,” said Day. “And I mean it's gotten worse. The sun heats up, it puts a nice little layer of water and then it freezes at night so now you get this packed hard ice that makes it even harder to dig yourself out of.”

However, he said he’s understands it was difficult for crews to cover every road and he’s been patiently waiting. “It's no hard feelings. Obviously running a city is not an easy thing, and especially when you get record snowfalls like this. So, it's unfortunate but there's not much you can do but try your best,” he said.