Author Topic: How far do snow plows push snow on the side of the road?  (Read 3129 times)

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Offline PeanutButterShammyCream

How far do snow plows push snow on the side of the road?
« on: January 28, 2017, 05:20:15 am »
I am planning on riding the Western Express in late March, and I'm sure there will still be a good amount of snow in the Sierras. Is it possible to ride on the shoulder? Or do you have to ride on the road because the shoulder is filled with snow???

Offline RussSeaton

Re: How far do snow plows push snow on the side of the road?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2017, 01:32:12 pm »
I do not recall what mountain roads look like in winter.  But in the Midwest, in the city, the snow is maybe close to the white lines on the side of the road.  So all the pavement within the white lines is plowed.  Plowed does not mean perfectly clear.  After plowing there is not a lot of snow left, but some still on the road.  And lots of slush too.  Figure maybe the white line is visible or the snow is removed within 6-12 inches of the white line.  Out in the country in the Midwest, the snow is usually pushed off the road between the white lines.  Again, its not a perfectly snow free clear road.  Snow plows also will come back for a second or third run and push the snow well onto the shoulders.  The shoulder is not clear.  But you can see a plow has pushed and plowed some of the snow off the shoulder.  If you wanted to ram your car and get it stuck, you could get it onto the shoulder in the snow still remaining after the second or third plowing.  This is how snow plowing occurs in the Midwest.  Maybe similar up in the mountains too.

Offline DaveB

Re: How far do snow plows push snow on the side of the road?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2017, 06:00:03 pm »
I am planning on riding the Western Express in late March....
You probably should reconsider.  It's not just how clear the roads have been plowed but what's still falling.

Offline Adventure Cycle

Re: How far do snow plows push snow on the side of the road?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2017, 04:55:10 am »
Local Department of Transportation as well as The National Weather Service would be a good resources for your planning need. Adventure Cycling Association can be a wealth of information also and in particular has a link to google maps with public alerts. 

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: How far do snow plows push snow on the side of the road?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2017, 03:39:36 pm »
If there is snow on the side of road there very well could be ice in the road.

I am calling troll on this one.

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: How far do snow plows push snow on the side of the road?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2017, 05:28:30 pm »
Not sure about there, but HERE in NY if it snows, the road shoulders aren't an immediate concern for plows, they worry about the lanes, then push the road-shoulders back to the gaurd-rails after the storm.

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Offline Nyimbo

Re: How far do snow plows push snow on the side of the road?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 02:44:26 am »
 This year it's a different kind of year. I am hoping you know this if you are planning a March crossing. It's been crazy up there this year.  Last week on the first clear day after a three week period with 25 feet of snowfall I  drove over Donner Summit, to Squaw Valley.  I happened to pass 2 cyclist going over the summit.  Temp was 27 on my car dash but they looked to be dressed warmly enough. Later that day I heard someone say they saw the highway patrol escorting them over the summit down to Truckee.  I snapped a pic if I can post it I will.

Offline staehpj1

Re: How far do snow plows push snow on the side of the road?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 07:17:17 am »
In some places where mountain passes have really deep snowpack they plow out only one lane and let the sun melt it out before reopening.
 My limited experience with snow on mountain roads that do get plowed each snowfall is that the don't plow the shoulders.  I have generally found the traffic light enough in those places that I didn't mind riding in the lane.

Offline jamawani

Re: How far do snow plows push snow on the side of the road?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2017, 08:11:08 am »
This is Sonora Pass on Memorial Day - end of May - during an average snow year.
People who want to bike across the Rockies in March or thru Death Valley in July -
Deserve what they encounter.