10 Dec 2020 Snow Procedures
As the winter season will be upon us, we want to remind residents to please observe the following to help get the roads cleared faster and safer:
- Be sure your vehicle has the proper equipment to navigate the conditions.
- When the lights are flashing at the bottom of the hill, please obey them. Often drivers feel that they can make it up the hill and they choose to ignore the lights and end up only getting partially to their destination. When a car gets stuck, it puts everyone at risk.
- Do not park vehicles on the street overnight or during times of active snow removal. These vehicles are a hazard to the plow drivers and will be ticketed or removed.
- Do not leave snow in the road when clearing your driveway or push your snow across the street. This can cause slick spots on the road and is portentously dangerous for both cars and school kids as they go and from bus stops.
- Do not interfere with the snowplow drivers. Please do not approach a snowplow truck or driver. They are working hard to make the roads safe for everyone. If you have an issue, please call the city offices.
- Be extra cautious approaching snowplows and do not pass a snowplow.
Some residents have wisely left their vehicles in the LDS Church parking lot during severe storms. This can only be temporary, and vehicles should be removed as it is safe.
We also ask for your help in keeping fire hydrants clear of snow. The few minutes it takes to clear a hydrant could make a major difference in property damage.
Just a reminder that driving on snow covered roads is hazardous at any time but driving on the steep slopes of Woodland Hills can be extremely risky and unsafe. There have been times when four -wheel drive vehicles with aggressive snow tires have not been adequate.
We suggest that all drivers in Woodland Hills read the article written below years ago by a longtime resident of Woodland Hills, Ken Lindquist.
Winter, How do We View It?
Kenneth Lindquist (5,724 feet)
Do you look forward to winter for fun times and beautiful scenes all around or do we dread winters coming? Is winter a major inconvenience for you?
If you are reading this, you must live in Woodland Hills and must have been drawn to this area because of its beauty. Hopefully you enjoy its beauty during all four seasons. Remember the beauty of spring, summer, and fall depends on a good winter snowpack.
Since the 1995-96 winter season we have had six days where 15” to 19” fell in one day, two day where 20”-30” fell in one day and thirty-one days were 10” to 14 inches fell in one day. Our highest snowfall for a season, September to May, was 204.5” and our lowest was 133”. Our average is 165”. That is 13.75 feet deep. This information was gathered and provided by Duane Horrocks who lives at the 5,753-foot level. This is the altitude according to Goggle Earth for the intersection of Spring Drive and Woodland Hills Drive. One season is missing. (1996-1997). You will notice the charts have missing data for this season.
We can count our blessings that all the snow doesn’t accumulate and stay for the entire season. The periodic warming periods allows some of the snow to melt so at one time we have two feet, three feet or maybe four feet. But it is usually there for the entire season.
This information should help us realize that we live on a mountain. It is easy to forget how high we actually live during the other three seasons. According to Goggle Earth our fire station is at 5,722 feet elevation. The city park is at 5,981 feet and East Deep Forest Circle is at 6,089-foot elevation. The roundabout is at 5,064 feet. We head up the hill and quickly climb 982 feet to the highest home I could find. So, if the information on the snowfall doesn’t match yours, remember the rapid change in the elevation.
Why all the statistics? I thought newcomers would be interested in what may be coming and I also thought it would help the rest of us to remember how far up the mountain we do live.
This means we must be prepared for winter and we must apply caution in our driving habits. Many of the problems I have seen people have is due to inappropriate tires for winter. We should have appropriate tires on our vehicles for the winter driving we face on the roads of our fair city.
What are appropriate tires?
I can share my experience with you. We had front wheel drive vehicles for the first nine years we lived in Woodland Hills. After some investigation I found that studded snow tires on all four tires were the best and
safest option to maintain control. SO, that is what we purchased, and they were great. I could go anywhere accept through driveway entrances packed with snow that were much higher than the lowest part of my car.
Why do all four wheels need studded tires?
If you have front wheel drive this rule is important because the front wheels provide the power, so they need the studs for traction and the back tires need the studs to help with braking. Without them your tail will slide to one side or the other. With studs on the back, your car stays straighter when you brake or go around a curve.
The last three years we have been driving and all-wheel drive SUV. I have found that the SUV is not so perfect as many people say I also drove a jeep around one winter and I found that I could end up in a ditch very easy but getting out was a cinch. Tires are still very important. Studs are not needed but I have been in some situations on Woodland Hills Drive that they would have been very helpful.
Patience, what a wonderful thing to have.
Life seems more pleasant. The days go by smoother and we don’t end up in trouble as often. Winter forces us to develop some patience. If we ignore the weather situation then we can end up very unhappy or in some serious trouble.
Our city has had a good record of keeping our roads clear. There have been some occasions when roads that are usually kept clean end up with snow on them longer than usual. Remember almost all of the roads in our city are hilly. We choose to live here so lets be kind and have reasonable expectations. The roads are cleared according to priorities established for important reasons. I hope we can all be patient with each other.
There isn’t a city in the country that can have all of their roads cleared of snow when people want to drive on them. Let’s enjoy this beautiful place we live and remember we live on a mountain where snow can be measured in feet not inches only.
Have a great winter!