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Driveways blocked by crews plowing snow off roads

plowed snow blocks driveway.png
Posted at 5:27 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 20:08:34-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A family feels trapped after plow trucks have pushed so much snow onto their driveway they say they’re unable to get out.

“What if something happened? That’s the fear: what if something happened?” said Maxine Barger, who lives on the southeast side. “We can’t get out and we can’t get in. Can’t even go to the grocery store.”

Barger is worried for her family. Her husband has heart disease and COPD, she has degenerative disc disease and is unable to walk well, and they’re raising three children with special needs.

With the snow packed high at the end of their driveway from crews plowing State Road 67, Barger is fearful emergency services wouldn’t be able to get to them.

“It’s nerve-racking not being able to get somebody to him,” Barger said. “Because he’s on a sleep apnea machine and a lot of times he stops breathing, so it’s scary and I want to be able to get somebody to him when he needs it.”

The couple is unable to plow the snow away themselves.

“It’s just hard. It’s hard on all of us," Barger said. "There’s no way that we can get out of here.”

The Bargers called the Indianapolis Mayor’s Action Center for help.

“We called them twice and they told us there’s nothing they can do,” Barger said. “That it’s the city’s job to plow the street. It’s not their job to clear our driveway.”

They even reached out to someone on Facebook.

“He said he wouldn’t push that drift or push the snow that they plowed into the driveway,” she said. “There’s no way he could do it. The trucks aren’t heavy enough to push that solid snow like that.”

Turns out, this stretch of State Road 67 is out of Indianapolis DPW’s jurisdiction. So WRTV reached out to INDOT instead. A spokesperson for INDOT sent the following response:

The primary goal of plowing is to remove snow from roadways so that the road is open to vehicular traffic. Plowing pushes snow from the middle of the roadway to the right side of the roadway. Unfortunately, this results in snow piling up in front of driveways.

The driver cannot stop or raise the plow at each driveway as this would leave a pile of snow in the roadway. Plow drivers will try to prevent excessive blockages at driveways but many times this is not possible. Residents are advised to wait until the snowplow has been through their road, prior to cleaning their driveway and mailbox areas. That said, if drifting or more snow occurs, the plows may have to make multiple passes on a road at a later time to keep the road clear. A state resource they can utilize is calling 211.


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