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Winter in Robinson, Moon: PennDOT, Municipal Policies on Snow Removal, Winter Safety

Local municipalities, PennDOT offer tips on dealing with common winter headaches.

Robinson Township manager Aaron Bibro said the community's 15-member public works crew worked throughout the day Wednesday to clear township streets following the first winter storm of the season. 

"It was tough to keep up with around noon," said Bibro of the Wednesday storm. "But we would ask that residents be patient. This is a pretty large township; we can't get to every road at once and our crews did get everything clear a little later." 

With the first snowstorm of the season under our belts, local municipalities and PennDOT offer up tips for combating common winter problems in Western Pennsylvania. 

What do to if your mailbox is struck or damaged by a snowplow: 

Bibro said residents whose mailbox is damaged by a snowplow can contact the Robinson Township administrative offices for assistance at 412.788.8120.

From MoonTwp.com:

Mailboxes are placed in the township’s legal right-of-way; Moon Township is not liable for damage to them caused by snow removal operations. Moon Township repairs or replaces only mailboxes and/or posts that are actually struck by the plow blades or damaged by impact from the plow truck itself. 

Moon residents can call their municipal building at 412.412.1700. 

Plowing your own snow: 

Plowing or shoveling snow from driveways, parking lots or sidewalks onto the street is a violation of Pennsylvania state law

Parking on streets during snow removal: 

Bibro said Robinson Township does not have a parking ordinance specific to snow plow operations, but advises motorists to not park their cars on the side of the road during weather when plowing could occur. 

"We have an ordinance, no on-street parking from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m.," Bibro said. "If your car is on the road when we're plowing, we're obviously going to plow around it. There is no formal policy about parking when plowing occurs, but we would appreciate it every one would move their car if the roads are getting bad." 

In Moon Township, cars are not permitted to park on township roads during any snow event or between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Vehicles can be ticketed if they are in violation, according to the township's website. 

Safe distance to follow behind a snowplow: 

PennDOT District 11 advises that motorists should double the typical second-second safe following rule during inclement weather.

When following a truck, your headlights should be on low beam. PennDOT also advises that the area to the rear and side of plow trucks is not visible to the driver of the vehicle. 

Why did PennDOT plow my driveway shut?:

According to PennDOT

Frequently, it appears that PennDOT plows driveways shut after the property owners have already plowed their driveways. These complaints occur on our rural systems, due to the fact that our highways are plowed in priority order, beginning with the highest traffic volume routes, and working toward the lower, or rural, traffic routes. Consequently, the rural driveway owners have completed the removal of snow on their driveways prior to our plowing operations. 

PennDOT suggests homeowners can minimize the impact of plowing by removing snow only to 10 feet from the end of your driveway until it passes all snow plows. Another method is to clean an area in addition to your driveway on the right side of your driveway facing from the roadway, which allows a plow blade full of snow to be deposited before it reaches your driveway. 

Will PennDOT pay for damage to my car caused by spreading of anti-skid, such as chips, cracks or other windshield damage?: 

For the most part, no. 

PennDOT is not held responsible for damage caused by the application of abrasives for winter services, unless the motorist can demonstrate gross negligence on the part of the PennDOT equipment operator, according to the department's own policies. 

Will PennDOT repair grass damage after heavy snow removal activities. 

Probably not, if it's within a public right-of-way.

PennDOT says damage often occurs in a legal right-of-way and is proportional to snow depths. 

From PennDOT: 

PennDOT does not repair these turf damages or remove deposited debris within the right-of-way limits on a routine basis. 

Residents can pick up a Pennsylvania Department of General Services claim form at any PennDOT location to file a complaint about yard or vehicle damage in connection to PennDOT operations. 

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