Wichita city officials urge residents to not travel unless it's absolutely necessary during the upcoming winter storm expected to hit the area Sunday night through Monday.
Public Works and Public safety officials said the storm conditions will make traveling very dangerous. Due to the snow Wichita got last week, there is limited availability to store plowed snow on the curbs, so snow may need to be plowed in to the middle lanes of four-lane roads. This will limit some arterial street to two lanes of traffic, with reduced capacity to turn left at some intersections.
Last week's storm also significantly reduced the city's inventory of treatment materials such as salt and sand.
"Going into this next storm event we are going to be working to conserve salt and sand material," said Wichita Public Works Deputy Director Joe Pajor.
Because of this the city will only plow roads during the storm until it stops snowing. The lack of salt and sand could make roads slicker and harder to drive on than they were during the previous storm according to officials. Plus the city has no plans to plow neighborhood streets.
"The policy of not plowing residential streets is based on capacity, cost, the impact of closing driveways as you plow those streets, and the impact on parked vehicles on residential streets being buried by the snow we are plowing" Pajor said. "It is not a simple process to switch that."
Emergency routes will be the priority for plowing operations. The Emergency Accident Reporting Plan (EARP) will go into effect once weather conditions are such that safety needs necessitate it says the Wichita Police Department.