This page contains plenty of information to keep you in-the-know about how we manage snow and ice. Take a look at our snow operations brochure, read through the FAQ and check out our social media accounts for weekly tips and reminders to help everyone get through the winter as smoothly and safely as possible.
In early 2022 we added a new service called SnowPaths (also linked on the left side of this page). This is a map system connected to GPS on city plow trucks. Using color-coded lines, the map shows when city streets were last plowed, in four- to eight-hour increments.
Neighbors can zoom to street level by entering their street address – and must use “Battle Creek” or their zip code – or allow SnowPaths to use your device’s location.
Questions or comments? Send them to PublicInput@battlecreekmi.gov or give a call to the Field Services Division at 269-966-3507.
- Basketball hoops
- Snow stakes
- Truck 903
- Plowing priorities
- City sections
- Clearing snow
Snowtifications are the weekly tips and reminders, related to snow operations, typically posted to city social media on Tuesdays.
We hope these help you learn more about our Field Services crew, and what it takes to clear snow in a city our size. Please read and share, and let us know if you have additional questions - PublicInput@battlecreekmi.gov.
It's time to pull in your street basketball hoops. Thanks to everyone who already has done this!
Crews begin in October tagging hoops with an orange notice about this -- typically close to 100.
During the winter especially, hoops fit into the "nuisance" category in several ordinances, because they can create a hazard for plows. The city is not responsible for damage to your hoop. Police may help support Field Services by speaking to neighbors who still have hoops out as the season progresses.
Please join us at Full Blast this winter to continue your basketball games! Court rental information is at http://bcparks.org/198/Rates.
We purchased about 1,000 snow stakes this year (2018), and have placed most of them around the city.
We typically edge streets without curb, and place them at angles, bends, and curves -- places where they make sense to help guide our plow drivers.
Here, Jim Shaffer is pounding a stake at Wahwahtaysee Way and Valleyview Road, and you see stakes lined up on Briarhill Drive.
We don't place stakes everywhere, but try to mark key areas ... we encourage you to place stakes, too, if it makes sense at your property.
Let's talk salt and sand!
We receive two types of salt delivery -- one in October (because you never know) of 500 tons at $60.43/ton; and multiple deliveries throughout the season of 5,500 tons at $54.45/ton.
Different weather conditions factor into the decision to drop salt. When the temperature is below 20 degrees, salt takes a long time to work. We do pre-treat salt with a liquid, corn-based de-icer that helps it stick to the roads. Sunshine makes a huge difference in helping along this process.
We generally do not salt local streets, due to the cost of salt. However, we do salt some local hills and intersections.
Some neighbors ask if we use sand... generally not because, in an urban location like Battle Creek, it can wash into and clog the storm sewers. However, there are times we use a small amount, like when roads are extremely icy and the temperature is extremely low. If salt isn't working on hard-packed snow in an intersection, we will use sand. We do not use sand downtown.
You can find your maintenance section of the city on our website, linked here. There's an overall map, plus detailed maps of each section.
We use these for street sweeping and snow plowing, in particular. For snow plowing, we assign crew members by section, though there's not a set order. All sections are the same priority.
Depending on the day and time, you may not see the same driver in your section. And, yes, the sections look large for one driver, but our crews do the best they can with the resources we have. Especially because we have a night shift during the winter, there's typically one person per section. As sections are completed, teammates will double up and help others.
We'd like to remind you of a part of state law meant to help with everyone's winter safety. (It's Michigan Vehicle Code section 257.677a for those interested.)
This says you cannot place (plow/blow) snow, ice or slush on or across the road, or even on the shoulder. This can create dangerous situations for drivers, and block their vision.
Please keep this in mind if you hire someone to plow your driveway, because it applies. And please point your snow blower toward your yard, not the street.
If you see this happening, you can call the non-emergency police number, and an officer will take a look -- 269-781-0911.
Quick tips & information
- To find which of the 13 maintenance sections of the city you live in, head over to our web page of section maps.
- We have 300 miles of roads in the city that we maintain. That's 90 major roads, 205 local, and 34 state trunklines.
- We often plow in tandem or in a convoy, especially on major roads. When you see multiple plows driving together, please don't cut in. This is dangerous for all vehicles.
- The city does not have residential parking rules except in the declaration of a snow emergency.
- Why can't you plow my street now?
- The plow left some snow at the end of my driveway. Can you send someone to plow it out?
- I own a business downtown. How are streets plowed in the Central Business District?
- Can you tell me exactly when my street will be plowed?
- Why don't the trucks plow and salt on the way to their routes?