Denver Government

How Denver Is Digging Out and Starting Up After Snowstorm

Mayor Michael Hancock shared this bizarre shot on the afternoon of March 15, along with a caption that began, "Just digging out! There is a lot of snow out there!"
Mayor Michael Hancock shared this bizarre shot on the afternoon of March 15, along with a caption that began, "Just digging out! There is a lot of snow out there!" denvergov.org
Mother Nature gave Denver a major boost in the wake of the weekend snowstorm.

The negative effects of the blizzard that struck the Mile High during Thanksgiving week 2019 lingered for weeks — but thanks to a sunny and temperate day on Monday, March 15, most major Denver routes, including highways, are presently passable or better.

Still, some side streets remain challenges, particularly for the owners of vehicles buried by plowing, and the timing of another (much smaller) system predicted to roll through the area today, March 16, isn't great. Moreover, Denver International Airport, whose runways were closed at the precipitation's height despite having been sold to the public as an "all-weather" facility (no, we'll never forget), is expected to be a madhouse as folks stuck in the city because of the snow scramble to get back home.

Here's what you need to know about Denver digging out and starting back up again:


SNOW PLOWING

At 2:45 p.m. on March 15, the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure confirmed that "snowplow operations will continue today into Tuesday, with drivers on duty to address both the main streets and residential streets." As of 5 a.m. today, the city's extremely useful Plowtracker page showed approximately thirty residential and so-called big plows staged throughout the city, many of them already hard at work.

Our post headlined "Everything You Want to Know About Snow Plowing in Denver" offers loads of additional details.

NEIGHBORHOOD CLEANUP

Residents are required to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks by the day after snow stops falling. Complaints about homeowners who've shirked this responsibility can be made to Denver 311 — and the city can connect those unable to shovel with volunteers. Click to get more info about the Snow Angels program, as well as to learn about fines that can be given out to the able-bodied but lazy.

Among the most significant issues presented by the latest storm is ice on the curbs and in the gutters. Again, Denver 311 is the easiest way to address these problems — and the same goes for icing in bike lanes, whether they're on the street or protected. The city's tips for bike riding in the snow include letting "a little air out of your tires to give you more surface area on the snowy pavement," lowering your saddle "so you can quickly put your foot down to avoid falling in slippery conditions, and braking "early and in a straight line. You can also apply the back brake (lightly) to test the amount of adhesion you have."

Trees and branches may have snapped off under the weight of heavy snow, and property owners are responsible for clearing the debris. Branches no longer than four feet in length or larger than four inches in diameter can be put in green carts associated with the Denver Composts program. Bigger branches can be taken to the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off at 7400 Cherry Creek South Drive.

Trash, extra trash, recycling and composting weren't collected on Monday. Pick-ups slated for that day will be shifted to Tuesday, with all other pickups moving back one day as well. Yes, Friday collections should happen on Saturday.

DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

More than 2,000 Denver flights were canceled over the weekend, and many others were delayed. But at 2:35 p.m. yesterday, DIA tweeted, "We're back baby! Four runways are open [out of six total] and flights are arriving and departing DEN." Nonetheless, delays and cancellations are still likely as various airlines try to return to normal operations.

RTD issues and the transformation of Peña Boulevard into something that resembled a Winter Olympics luge track made simply getting to the airport a nightmare over the weekend. While the situation is much improved, passengers with flights scheduled for this morning have been warned that getting through security lines could take 30 to 45 minutes longer than usual, and those looking forward to sitting in rows with open middle seats will almost certainly be out of luck. Fortunately, mask use by passengers remains a requirement.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts