Indianapolis drops ‘6 inches of snow’ rule before plowing residential streets

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Starting this season, Indianapolis Department of Public Works says it will no longer follow the “6 inches of snow” rule to make plowing decisions.

The rule served as the standard the department used to decide if contractors would be brought in to plow residential streets.

In a Friday news release, the department said, “The general guideline was to activate contractors for residential street plowing after 6 inches of snow had fallen. However, the lack of specificity with this policy often led to questions from the public around how to measure this arbitrary 6-inch guideline. The policy did not take into consideration the many contributing factors in addressing winter weather, such as pavement temperatures and projected future warm weather.”

Plows will now able to respond wherever they are needed in the city.

“The type of weather events are going to dictate how we respond instead of having an arbitrary rule that didn’t even make sense because it hasn’t been used in six years because of our changing climate and the changing type of winter storms that we get,” Dan Parker, director of the Department of Public Works, said Friday.

The department is also adding about 300 miles of road to its regular plowing route. Those miles of road are “Connector streets” to link neighborhoods and housing additions to secondary streets that are already part of the department’s standard plowing routes.

Contractors will still be used on an as-needed basis.