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City of Syracuse Plans to Nearly Double Routes for Sidewalk Snow Removal

City of Syracuse

Syracuse Common Councilors Monday are expected consider a sidewalk snow removal plan that nearly doubles the miles of sidewalks to be cleared for the coming winter.  Last season, JSK snow removal was the only contractor who responded to the city’s call later in the season, and cleared 40 miles of sidewalk from February to April.  DPW Transportation Planner Neil Burke told councilors at a committee meeting today that they used data to add 38 more miles of sidewalk to this year’s routes.

If you look at the map, these routes all sort of snake back together. So we’re creating a useable network, year round for pedestrians: based on safety, based on traffic volumes, and based on where we know folks are going,” said Burke.

Burke says they focus on major arterials and routes near schools, shopping centers, and doctor’s offices.  Chief Operating Officer Corey Driscoll Dunham says they had a successful initial run last season, and expect to find even more efficiencies this year.

Credit Scott Willis/WAER News
L to R: DPW Commissioner Jeremy Robinson, DPW Transportation Planner Neil Burke, and Chief Operations Officer Corey Driscoll Dunham.

The GPS units on the trackers will help us track where they are, how long the deployments take, how we navigate through the routes, which I think will be great. They anticipate hiring some new positions, and those will be city residents which we find to be really important. They’ve just been a really great partner,” said Driscoll Dunham.

JSK has purchased two more tractors so they can cover the additional miles.  The city has budgeted $250,000 for the service.  City officials are quick to remind residents that this is a supplemental snow removal service, and property owners are still expected to keep their sidewalks clear of snow and ice.

City of Syracuse
The highlighted streets are the additional routes for the 2019-2020 season.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at