If you came home to a slightly cleaner street or alley in recent days, say a quiet "Thank you" to plow drivers with the City of Minneapolis.
During warm spells last week and this weekend, crews have been patrolling city streets to clean up leftovers from last weekend's snowstorm. That storm's wet, thick snow quickly turned to ice or compacted and rutted under the wheels of passing cars, leaving some roads feeling more like cow paths than streets. Two days of cold weather following the storm made it difficult to clear streets, a Minneapolis official told Patch last week.
Now that temperatures have warmed up from last week's lows, the city hopes to make a dent in what's left of the storm's deposits. Warm temperatures have also caused previously compacted snow to fluff up under the churning of car tires.
"Basically, we were getting some complaints from the public and via Minneapolis 311," Mike Kennedy told Patch. Kennedy is the head of the city's Transportation Maintenance and Repair division. "Since we don't have a snow emergency, we're trying to address this with the resources we have regularly scheduled."
A Facebook page maintained by the city and devoted to snow removal has been deluged in recent days by pleas from residents to clear off streets.
Kennedy currently has between eight and 20 trucks working their way through the city. In a snow emergency, his department would field between 50 and 70.
"We're doing what we can with the resources we have," Kennedy said.
Still, he admonished residents to remember the way the city prioritizes main roads like Lyndale Avenue over side streets.
"You need to remember the level of service we intend to provide," he said. "We want to keep things safe, but our priorities are the main roads. It's never our intention to scrape residential side streets clean."