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Students dissatisfied with campus snow removal

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By Kassie Parisi

Managing Editor

[email protected]

Feb 24, 2015

   Many students have recently had issues with injuries and parking on campus despite the fact that the University at Albany emergency snow removal plan has been implemented twice in the last few weeks due to heavy amounts of snowfall.

   There have been frequent snow related injuries and accidents on campus. According to the UAlbany crime report, on Feb. 6 a female student slipped and fell outside of Colonial Quad. She went to the hospital to get treatment for a twisted knee. The same report said that on Feb. 9 a male student fell on ice next to Eastman Tower on State Quad. He was taken to the hospital and treated for head injuries. On Feb. 11 and Feb. 12 UAlbany plow trucks crashed into students’ cars.

   John Epp, a UAlbany junior, was leaving class from the Earth Science building when he slipped and fell down a set of stairs that had not been shoveled.

   “It wasn’t too bad until I looked at my hands and saw they were all scraped up and bleeding. Needless to say they still hurt like a bitch right now,” said Epp.

Snow buildup has made walking around campus dangerous. Photo by Madeline St. Amour.
Snow buildup has made walking around campus dangerous. Photo by Madeline St. Amour.

One anonymous Twitter user said that when he parked his car on campus last week the plowing in Dutch Lot was so bad that none of the lines indicating parking spaces were visible.

   “I got a parking ticket while the lines were covered in snow. I fought it and lost,” he said.

   According to the official snow response guide, the plan’s goal is to make all university streets, parking lots, sidewalks, stairwells, and podium areas safe for pedestrians and accessible for vehicles during and after each winter storm.

   “Although the campus has always had a snow emergency plan, a comprehensive document was created around 1997 or 1998. The current snow emergency parking policy was revised in October of 2013,” said Jason Jones, the director of the Parking and Mass Transit Services at UAlbany.

   The snow removal plan is only considered when there are three to 10 inches of snow on the ground. There are three phases of snow removal. All three phases involve drivers moving their cars to specific areas on campus while other areas are plowed.

While removing snow, the Physical Plant Department prioritizes which sections of the campus to clean first. During a storm, the department works to clear handicap access areas, main bus roads, entrances to campus, and fire or emergency lanes before anything else. It is only after these areas have been deemed safe that the parking lots and on-campus areas receive cleaning. During the time that maintenance is working on the outside areas, the inside areas are still dangerous.

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