Q. Davenport has a fantastic snowplow crew and they do a great job. The city requires residences to clear their sidewalks within a time frame. Why do the snowplows consistently put snow back on the sidewalks and block driveways after they have been cleared as required by the city? – Pauline, Davenport
A. We contacted the city of Davenport to find out. Nicole Gleason, Davenport public works director, responded:
"Thank you for the question and compliment! We know that snow removal can be frustrating for everyone, here is a bit more information. As a result of plowing activities, snow is pushed to the curb in front of driveways, and may inadvertently be placed back onto a sidewalk that has been cleared. Unfortunately throwing snow back onto a clean sidewalk is often unavoidable due to an area’s geography, boulevard width, and street width. Areas such as cul-de-sacs and locations with narrower boulevards are places where pushing snow onto a sidewalk most frequently occurs. The city does take these factors into account when doing sidewalk inspections.
"To minimize the impacts of windrowing, residents removing snow from their driveway should place snow removed with the flow of traffic. For example, if you are on a North/South street and the traffic on your side of the street travels South, place the snow on the South side of your driveway. This will reduce the volume of snow being pushed into your driveway.
"Crews attempt to minimize this when they are able by moving slower, however even at 10 mph snow can fly pretty far. The amount pushed back onto the sidewalk or driveway is also dependent on how much snow is being moved. For more information about snow removal or to sign up for snow alerts, please visit our website at http://www.cityofdavenportiowa.com/winter"
Q. I meant to ask this last fall, but remembered it during a recent trip to Iowa City. What was the thinking behind the removal of trees and brush from the south side of I-80 just after leaving the Q-C? Lots of work done but I wondered to what purpose. I'm talking about driving from Davenport to Iowa City on 80 past the 280 turn off and on to the Iowa 80 truck stop. -- Bob, Davenport
A. We contacted the Iowa Department of Transportation for more information. Catherine Cutler, transportation planner, District 6, Iowa DOT. responded, "It may have been a different contractor but same effort – to clean up dead dying invasive trees and shrubs."
In the Dec. 23, 2017, Ask the Times column, she was asked about work along Interstate 80 and U.S. 61. She said at that time, "We have a project coming to clear up some dead/sick trees and invasive species of trees. Orange markings indicate removal. Blue markings on a tree means it stays."
We also asked if this was an emerald ash borer infestation? Cutler said, "Yes, some. Tree of heaven and red cedar are others. Cedars are a special nuisance as seeds are spread by birds and get into farm fields."