The township has established a road priority system for snow and ice removal operations. The priority streets are the heavily-traveled roads that lead in and out of Abington. They call these snow emergency routes.
These roads include:
- Old York Road - Moreland Road to Township Line Road
- Huntingdon Pike - Moreland Road to Philadelphia Line
- Fitzwatertown Road - Susquehanna Road to Moreland Road
- North Hills Avenue - Fitzwatertown Road to Moreland Road
- Highland Avenue - Old York Road to Mt. Carmel Avenue
- Easton Road - Mt. Carmel Avenue to Moreland Road
- Old Welsh Road - North Hills Avenue to Valley Road
- Susquehanna Road - Fitzwatertown Road to Huntingdon Pike
- Moreland Road - Kimball Avenue to Edge Hill Road
- Jenkintown Road - North Hills Avenue to Highland Avenue
- Mt. Carmel Avenue - North Hills Avenue to Highland Avenue
- Township Line Road - Old York Road to Fillmore Avenue
- Valley Road - Susquehanna Road to Lower Moreland
- Edge Hill Road - Moreland Road to Old Welsh Road
- Meetinghouse Road - Township Line Road to Huntingdon Pike
- Fox Chase Road - Meetinghouse Road to Huntingdon Pike
Parking is prohibited on these roadways during a snow emergency. Vehicles found parked on snow emergency routes during heavy snow storms may be ticketed and towed at the owner's expense.
- Are property owners responsible for removing snow and ice from their sidewalks?
Property owners are responsible for removing snow and ice from all sidewalks in front of their properties within twenty-four hours after a snowfall. Residents may wish to clear their driveways after the last pass of the snowplow.
- Are the Township equipment operators permitted to clear private roads and driveways?
The Township equipment operators are not permitted to clear private roads or driveways.
- Who is responsible for snow removal? Abington Township Public Works Department is responsible for snow removal on over 200 miles of roadway throughout the Township. The Township is contracted with PennDOT and Montgomery County to conduct the plowing on State and County roads. This allows the Township to respond immediately to snow and ice events, rather than wait for either entity to respond.
- How are roadways prioritized? Roadways are prioritized based on their designation as an emergency route and classification as a primary, secondary or tertiary road. The Township is divided into 12 sections for plowing purposes. Each section has a set of plows that work in conjunction to remove the snow as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Emergency Routes have priority over all roadways to ensure emergency vehicles, residents and visitors can travel in and out of the Township. Plows are sent to these major arterials first in a “tandem” formation. Tandem refers to approximately 6 to 7 plow vehicles that work together to clear the road. The video below depicts a Tandem in action with a brief explanation on Old York Road.
The Township has six tandem routes covering 24 streets including: Old York Road, Township Line Road, Easton Road, Old Welsh Road, Jenkintown Road, Keswick Avenue, Susquehanna Road, Fitzwatertown Road, Highland Avenue, Rockwell Road, Fox Chase Road, Meetinghouse Road, Edge Hill Road, Moreland Road, Limekiln Pike, Mt. Carmel Avenue, Baeder Road, Church Road and Cedar Road. Once the tandem routes are clear the plows disperse into 12 sections which cover all roadway types.
- When does the Township begin preparing for a storm? When a winter storm is forecasted, the Public Works Department monitors the expected conditions before, during and after the storm. The Department develops its plan on how to address the storm based on many factors, including the amount of precipitation; temperature before, during and after the storm; the time of the storm; storm strength; and the type of the snow, upon others. These conditions will determine whether or not the Township should salt and/or plow, as well as, the amount of personnel and equipment needed. Every storm is different but an average snow event takes approximately 12 hours to plow and will have an average of 45 trucks and 60 personnel plowing and/or shoveling.
- Why does the Township plow curb to curb? Curb to curb plowing is done for several reasons. First is safety. Curb to curb plowing allows for the largest amount of roadway to be maintained and open for travel. It also enables there to be adequate space to place additional snow in the event of a second or third storm. Curb to curb plowing is also critical to allow drains to remain accessible so when the snow starts melting it finds its way into the storm sewer rather than flooding lawns and homes.
Because plowing will inevitably push snow towards driveways to clear the roadway, residents are respectfully asked to wait until after a storm event is over and their street is plowed to shovel. This will all but eliminate the chance of having to shovel your property and sidewalk clear more than once.
- Why should I remove my car from the street when it snows? The snow plow can more effectively and efficiently remove snow during a storm if the street is clear. Not only will your street be better plowed and more accessible, but the plows can move more quickly enabling your neighborhood to be cleared faster. It also eliminates the chance of any vehicular damage during a storm.
Overall, moving a car from the roadway makes the street safer for all travelers as it reduces the amount of residual snow and ice on the roadway after a storm. If you do leave your car in the street, please be sure to shovel the snow around and on your car off of the street. Leaving the snow in the roadway may result in icy conditions and make the roadway unsafe for your family and neighbors. Please remember, “where the snow lays is where it will stay.” Please DO NOT push or shovel snow into cleared streets or sidewalks.
- Will my trash be collected if there is a snow storm or snow emergency? Yes. Trash collection will occur as usual unless otherwise announced.
- Do not drive unnecessarily in a storm, especially during severe snowstorms and freezing rains.
- Where at all possible, citizens should park their vehicles off the street and remove vehicles from the roadside shoulder to enable snow plows to clear the roadways. This is especially critical during heavy snow storms. Citizens are also requested not to park their vehicles at the end of their driveways projecting out into right of way. During heavy snow storms these vehicles can become hidden and damaged by snow plows clearing your street.
- Do not shovel snow into the road or have your driveway plowed into the road. This can cause a serious traffic hazard. If possible, place snow on the side of your driveway opposite the direction the plow is traveling. By implementing this technique, the plow will push snow away from your driveway rather than back into it. Plowing or shoveling snow into streets is prohibited as it interferes with the use of these passageways.
- Snow plows cannot lift and carry snow from one area to another. The plow pushes the snow. The driver places it in an area most suitable to expedite the plowing, and opening the roads for the majority of residents in the most timely manner.
- If possible, wait until the road has been plowed before cleaning out the end of your driveway. There is no practical way to plow the road without depositing snow into your driveway.
- Help reduce the possibility of some broken mailbox posts. Plow operators are urged to take precautions to avoid hitting mailbox posts. Experience has shown that reduced visibility during a snow storm makes it difficult for a driver to see a post in time to avoid striking it or pushing it over with plowed snow.