Town Administrator Mel Kleckner and Commissioner of Public Works Erin Chute Gallentine wish to provide information on snow removal this winter.
Residents are encouraged to review the Department of Public Works Winter Guide, which provides helpful information on snow removal. To view the winter guide, please click here.
Community members who have not already done so should sign up for Alert Brookline’s CodeRed system here to receive special emergency alerts about impacts to the community, including snow emergencies. Residents can also enroll by typing “alertbrookline” to 99411.
Due to the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DPW — similar to other communities — has experienced staff shortages for individuals that specialize in snow removal. Additionally, there has been a decline in private contractors available for snow and ice removal. This industry has also experienced delays, reduced availability, and increased costs associated with vehicle and equipment parts and repairs.
Residents should note that the combination of these factors will impact the time it takes the DPW to clear streets, sidewalks, ramps, parking lots, schools, public buildings, and public grounds, as well as designated bike lanes, parks, public paths, stairs, bus stops and approved private ways.
“This staff shortage is not an issue unique to Brookline. We have heard from surrounding communities that they too are facing this problem,” Commissioner Gallentine said. “Despite these challenges, we are committed to working to clear snow as efficiently and quickly as possible during future storms. We thank the community for their understanding and patience as we enter the winter season.”
The Town will prioritize the main arterial roadways and passage for emergency vehicles during snow events. Once those areas are cleared, the focus will shift to neighborhood roads, schools, and public buildings.
In the event of a winter storm, the DPW will work to clear the streets, sidewalks, school bus stops, and school parking lots before the school day starts. Depending on the impact of storms, school schedules may be impacted.
Additionally, municipal trash collection may be delayed by a day if crews that typically collect trash are needed for snow removal.
Residents are reminded to clear snow from the sidewalks in front of their property, as well as any nearby fire hydrants or catch basins in order to mitigate the impact of snowfall.