Detroit: Snow removal crews to clear wider paths in residential areas

Starting this winter, the City of Detroit is introducing a major change to its residential plowing policy.

"We are now requiring them to clear a 16-foot path down the road. ... It allows for two vehicles to be able to pass each other," said Ron Brundidge.

The city's DPW Director says it's a big step up from the previous policy that was implemented nearly 20 years ago and required contractors to clear only a 10-foot-wide path down a residential street. Contractors commissioned to do the work said they're ready to get the job done.

"We had to add more equipment to the job so it was a cost factor but we just need it to snow so we can make some of it back," said Terry Payne Sr.

Contractors said as they deal with the extra plowing requirement they need residents to help.

"It's easier if you're able to put your car in the driveway or remove it off street that we can clear street totally on the first pass," Terry Payne Jr. said.

Officials say because the city's finances have improved, they are able to offer this higher level of service which also includes a new policy and equipment to clear snow from the city's protected bike lanes so a bike rider can still keep moving when it snows.

"We purchased equipment that allows us to go into these narrow bike lanes and clear them." said Brundidge.

And once snow begins to cover the pavement, city officials say efforts will begin to clear all high priority roads.