This is Pittsburgh: A city with four distinctly different seasons. Our challenge is to keep up with the results of those changing seasons. I’m talking about snow.

We all remember the problems we had getting around in the Big Snow Storm of 2010. Hospital workers lived at the hospitals to give optimum care, people got together to dig out neighbors and we were here.

Cleanup from the storm caused many problems. I put together a Council Task Force to research, inquire and come up with suggestions toward a snow removal plan. We expect faster and more efficient snow removal in the future. As the flakes have begun to fall, the snow removal emergency plan will include the following:

  • Better, more effective communication between city departments and the city and the people. City officials will constantly monitor weather reports throughout the snow season.
  • If you look around the city, you will notice new “Snow Emergency Route” signs posted. These streets will be the first to be plowed. If at all possible, stay on these roads.
  • The city increased the number of smaller, hill top trucks specifically designed to plow our hilly terrain, plowing and salting trucks and personnel available to run them during a storm. Larger trucks will be assigned to major roads at the same time as smaller trucks will be clearing secondary streets.
  • Other Public Works staff will be clearing city sidewalks, steps, crosswalks, senior centers, recreation centers and other city facilities areas.
  • According to Public Works officials, our salt, calcium chloride and anti-skid supplies are all ready at maximum capacity.
  • If your street is not cleared in a timely manner, please call the city’s 311 hotline or my office at 412-255-2135.

Don’t forget to check in on your neighbors during these cold days and nights. Make sure they have needed supplies.

And, it’s important to keep your sidewalks clear of snow. A slip and fall can really hurt. If you can’t shovel by yourself, ask for help. Call neighbors, talk with your community groups or call our office.

Be careful out there! Snow is silent when it falls, beautiful to look at, but can really be a problem.