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University of Colorado Boulder student  Olivia Kokes tries to dig her car out of the snow with her friend, Avery Gillespie, behind the wheel, at 11th Street and Euclid Avenue in Boulder on Tuesday. City crews were working to plow all residential streets Tuesday, the first time the city has directed snow removal from all streets. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
University of Colorado Boulder student Olivia Kokes tries to dig her car out of the snow with her friend, Avery Gillespie, behind the wheel, at 11th Street and Euclid Avenue in Boulder on Tuesday. City crews were working to plow all residential streets Tuesday, the first time the city has directed snow removal from all streets. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
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City snow crews began plowing all of Boulder’s residential streets on Monday night, the first time the city has done so, as residents continue to dig out from 20 inches of wet, heavy snow that fell over the weekend.

Snow crews typically prioritize plowing emergency routes; major streets; access to hospitals, schools, transit and critical infrastructure; residential streets with steep slopes; and multi-use paths, spokesperson Julie Causa said.

City officials decided to include all residential streets in the post-storm clean up because of the amount of snow, because a second storm was forecast and because of community feedback after a large storm last season.

Plowing residential streets adds 300 miles of road to the city’s plowing routes, doubling the workload for city plows, Causa said. Snow plows normally clear 52% of the city’s roads and 100% of multi-use paths. How long it takes to plow the city depends on the amount of snow and other conditions, but the current effort to plow 100% of roads is expected to take 36 hours, Causa said, finishing up late tonight or early Wednesday morning.

Plows will take one pass down the center of residential streets, which is intended to minimize blocking driveways and on-street parking — though there may still be large piles of snow on the sides of the street.

“That’s the thing about snow removal. You’re not always removing it, you’re pushing it to the sides of the road,” Causa said.

Snow is also being hauled away from priority routes and downtown Boulder, Causa said, which is also not typical because the process can impede cross traffic and emergency vehicles.

City officials decided to haul away snow from some streets this week because of the amount of snow and the forecast of two storms. During the hauling process, snow is pushed to the centerline of streets and removed after the storm.

City officials will post regular updates about snow removal operations at bouldercolorado.gov/public-works/snow.

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