Around Town

Arlington County: We’re Ready for Snow

Tomorrow (Dec. 21) is the first day of winter, and Arlington County says it’s prepared to deal with wintry weather when it finally arrives in the area.

Although nothing more than a few possible snowflakes is in the forecast at this time, the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services says it will have its 46 snow plows and 92 drivers ready when the white stuff does begin to accumulate. And the county website has some new features to keep residents abreast of road conditions and snow plow progress.

From a county press release:

Arlington County is gearing up for winter weather by refining and reintroducing a number of tools to keep residents informed when winter weather strikes, including more traffic cameras, the Snow Removal Phase System, and the Snow and Ice Central web page .

Once the forecast calls for winter weather — snow, ice or freezing rain — Arlington preps its plows and salt trucks and the snow team is ready to go. During a storm, Arlington’s snow crews focus on keeping main arteries passable for emergency vehicles and public transportation (red primary routes). The team includes 92 drivers and 46 trucks equipped with salt spreaders and plows. Four of the trucks also are equipped with salt brine sprayers.

This year Arlington will be using a more environmentally-friendly salt brine solution to pre-treat our roadways. The less corrosive liquid magnesium chloride and salt mixture is used in lower temperatures when it is most effective. And when we do need to use salt or sand, crews adjust equipment to ensure only the proper amount is dispensed.

Snow Phases Provide County Removal Status

For a second season, Arlington will implement a phase system in order to share information about snow operations and removal. With the system, residents can check a storm’s progress, track the County’s efforts to clear streets, and determine how to best prepare for the winter weather. The current phase will be posted on the County web site and social media channels. For snow removal updates, follow the Department of Environmental Services on Facebook or Twitter.

More Traffic Cameras to Monitor Road Conditions

This year, the County has nearly doubled the number of traffic cameras monitoring road conditions. Introduced in 2011, the traffic camera web page offers real-time views, major intersections and other key locations. With access to real-time road conditions, drivers are able to make informed decisions about traveling during and after a winter weather storm. The Snow and Ice Central page features 40 more cameras this year, for a total of 83 traffic cameras.

Snow Removal Ordinance

The County’s Snow Removal Ordinance requires all Arlington property owners to clear snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent to their property within a designated time period. To learn more about the ordinance, read the FAQs.