UPDATE: Where’s the Snowgate? (Feb 20, 2018) GP – Bruce

To plow is one thing but being able to see snowgates is what we voted for.

Sioux Falls voted to have graders with snowgates clearing all the streets. in the wee hours of Tuesday, February 20, 2018 we had some more white stuff called snow. The stuff snowgates were made to keep from filling our driveways.

It has finally been added to the books;

96.127  SNOW GATES.

The City of Sioux Falls shall use snow gates or other devices to prevent snow, in an amount that prevents usual access, from being plowed or placed into driveways or their openings to public streets from and after November 1, 2013.  This section shall cover City employees and contract employees.  Snow gates are discretionary upon the declaration of a snow emergency on routes that have been declared snow emergency routes.

(Ord. IM01-14, approved by the voters on 4-8-2014)

It might seem petty but some of us worked hard a few years ago to see snowgates keeping the white stuff out of our driveways.

I heard the plow drive quickly past my house so I knew it was not the usual grader pair with a snowgate, so I sent the following email to Councilor Theresa Stehly:


I love snow gates. We worked hard to get them and I have been very happy with their use. The city employees have been very cooperative and friendly in helping the property owners. The work we did to promote them has paid off well for the entire town, until this week.

On Monday, February 20, 2018 at 7:01 am, a Sioux Falls snowplow truck drove through my west 9th street neighborhood between Valley View and LaMesa at about 30mph clearing the street. When I went out to get in my truck, there was chucks of ice and snow in the grill. Thrown there by the force combination of speed and the lack of snow gates. My truck’s headlights could have been broken with the way this truck zoomed past throwing up the debris mixed with ice and snow.

I have problems with this week’s street cleaning,

  1. the lack of snow gate use,
  2. the speed of the truck sent to clean our street,
  3. the fact my truck was pelted with street crap.

How do I know this truck was used and the speed? I have the video. The photo I have enclosed is from the video.


I sent a photo and then decided to post this video do to the size and story.

While I’m at it, there is another issue I’d like addressed. Why are certain streets in Sioux Falls which never get snowgate service in the southeast section of town. How come? – Bruce

Dacola Note: While we are on the pissy parade, I will say this about the snowgate use; certain operators are picking and choosing when to use them. For example I hear from people in the SE part of town that ‘sometimes they are used, and sometimes they are not’. I live in central by Avera on a straight street, and that was the case last winter. This winter they have never missed, and in fact, have left next to nothing in my driveway. I think it is certain operators that choose not to use them.

I have liked Stehly’s idea of having a large display number on the back of snowplows so you can report drivers who are skirting their duties.

While I’m at it I have a personal message I would like to send to the maintenance crew at Avera (along Cliff Ave) and Lincoln HS. STOP THROWING SNOW INTO THE STREET! ESPECIALLY WHEN PEOPLE ARE DRIVING BY! YOU DIRT FOOLS! Not only is it against ordinance to throw it into a plowed street, you almost caused me to ram into the back of someone this morning because the city had the genius idea to put a crosswalk light at the bottom of a steep hill – you know – for the safety of the children.


#1 Bruce on 02.23.18 at 9:37 am

It’s 9:35am on friday morning and just now is the 3rd time the sanding truck has zoomed past my house in the letting ice fly. Thanks for the clean streets I guess and the crap in our property!

#2 My Mistake Mike on 02.23.18 at 11:02 am

While the city has been consistently slow this winter in getting to my neighborhood, they have been consistent in using snow gates. I love it, and I thank Theresa every time I see her.

My issue is with lack of law enforcement when it comes to parked cars, trailers, etc on the street in violation of the Snow Alert. Easy money for SFPD, and it would improve snow removal all the way around. It goes to my point about local government – we don’t need more ordinances, just enforce the ones already on the books!

I agree with you, Scott, on the violators blowing snow in the street. One citation would stop this, too.

#3 Theresa stehly on 02.23.18 at 11:56 am

In fairness to the Public Works Department,I have heard from many satisfied residents about the effectiveness of the snow gates and the skilled application performed by the motor grader operators. I have found Mark Cotter and Galynn Huber to be very responsive to community concerns when they are brought to their attention. Citizens have thanked the City for the respect and responsiveness. Customer service is so important in our CITY Government. There are many moving parts involved in making this a successful service for the citizens. The two biggest concerns I have found are lack of private contractor compliance and the skill/competency of the plow operators. That is why a large identifying number on each motor grader would be helpful in training and tracking performance. Also, we could start commending those drivers who are doing an amazing job. (Many,many are.) Unfortunately,we only hear about the failures. Let’s work to make this a Win-Win for everyone.

#4 Scott D Hudson on 02.23.18 at 12:10 pm

Thanks for mentioning that it’s against city ordinance to blow snow into the street. I see this happen all over town.

#5 The D@ily Spin on 02.23.18 at 12:32 pm

I’ve never had a problem with snow plowing. However, my townhome community pays for a private service. My only problem is the entrance onto the thorofare street isn’t always plowed.

#6 Bald-n-Surly on 02.23.18 at 1:35 pm

Isn’t 9th street in that stretch an emergency snow route?

#7 l3wis on 02.23.18 at 1:49 pm

I don’t think it is, snow gates have been used in the past.

Not to mention, even if it was, that snowplow truck is driving way to fast.

#8 Bruce on 02.23.18 at 3:19 pm

BnS, it was a secondary snow route

#9 anonymous on 02.23.18 at 6:48 pm

During the last snow alert (earlier this week), my neighborhood was plowed out with the exception of the street I live on.

My street was missed by a subcontractor: Myrl and Roy’s, Plow #585.

In past years, our neighborhood has been cleared by city crews and we have had no problems with the use of the snowgates, streets not getting plowed etc….

I contacted the City Snow Removal # 367-8255 and was told a supervisor would check it out.

When I had not heard anything back approx 4 hours later, I emailed Galynn Huber. He responded within a few minutes and our street was plowed about an hour after he rec’d my notification.

Thank you for the great customer service!

#10 anominous on 02.24.18 at 10:42 pm

Bruce, no doubt you will enjoy revisiting this news story about how the city will soon allow its plows to be tracked by residents. 2015.


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