We've heard from some Grand Rapids residents, who are waiting for their streets to be cleared of snow. We set out to verify if the city crews are required to plow every street.
The city of Grand Rapids prioritizes their snow plowing. The major high car volume streets are plowed first, like Leonard, Fulton and Division. When more than three inches of snow accumulates on the residential streets and those busy streets are clear, the city may send plows into the local roads depending upon the temperature and the current forecast.
But does that mean every single Grand Rapids street gets attention? How much attention do they receive? We drove around Leonard Street, turning down some of the residential areas to check it out. We found Wieland Place Northwest, that's right near the Mitten Brewing Company. Wieland eventually becomes a dead end, but there are several houses on the street. One neighbor said in the two years he's lived there, not once has he seen a plow.
"They never plow it. They never plow this street; we pack it down just driving through just like it is right now. Maybe because it's so small, maybe because they don't think it's important, but this will never get plowed. Never. They don't come in here, only thing that come in here is the trash trucks. But other than that unless you're getting your water turned off, you don't see any city trucks coming in here for nothing," a neighbor living on Wieland Place said.
In talking to the city's Public Services Department, we discovered that Wieland Place had never been plowed by the city. It is a public right of way, but that street is not on the route map for the city's road crews. James Hurt the Director of Public Services said he was not aware of this street, but will add it to the route immediately.
"Checking our plow route maps we did not see Wieland Place on those maps, we will be adding that because it is a public street, it's a 16-foot wide public street, it's interesting that it hasn't been on our list. we have not heard from the residents on that street, but we want to certainly provide service to them so we're going to be adding that to our list," Hurt said.
Hurt said a crew would be going out to Wieland Place and will plow the road as soon as possible.
So we verified that yes, every Grand Rapids city street is the responsibility of the Public Service Department, unless it's covered by M-DOT like 28th Street is. Highways are the responsibility of the Kent County Road Commission. More specifically, Wieland Place is a public right of way. It was not on the map for the city crews to clear, but after our reporting, will be added. We also verified that the main heavy traffic, high-speed roads are the city's first priority, and the residential streets are second.
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