Columbus city officials answer concerns over snow response

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The timing of Wednesday morning's snow made for a messy commute.

State Route 315 was snow-covered and very slow going.

Caitlin Burton-Dooley says she was on 315 northbound when she hit a patch of ice and spun out of control, and off the highway.

"I'm stuck, just here," she said from her car, beached in snow between the highway and Lane Avenue exit ramp. "I've been here about two hours."

Asked to describe the conditions on the road, she answered, "I would say it's pretty terrible. 315 was a mess. Only two of the lanes were plowed, the farthest lane and the middle lane, not the lane that you actually need to get to exits."

Jeff Ortega speaks for the Columbus Department of Public Service.

"This is a storm that hit at probably the worst possible time, about three o'clock in the morning, a couple of hours before rush hour. So our road crews started treating streets yesterday, with those bridges and overpasses, and were staged in different areas of the city to be able to get to Priority One roadways once the snowfall started."

Glenn McEntyre: "For folks who weren't happy with 315 this morning- is there anything the city could've done differently or would do differently?"
Jeff Ortega: "No. Again, the city started pre-treating bridges and roadways yesterday. You mention 315 specifically. It's my understanding there was a vehicle in the roadway blocking multiple lanes of traffic."
Glenn McEntyre: "Could that have been because the roads were in bad shape?"
Jeff Ortega: "I don't know. But again it's my understanding that's what happened."

Marsha Logan made sure her north Columbus driveway is clear. When her street will be cleared, she's not worried.

"They're working 12 hours shifts, and they do the best they can. And as long as they get the main streets and the highways cleared, that's the most important thing right now."

After two hours trapped along 315, Caitlin wasn't feeling as charitable.

"It was already 10:30 when I left, so it wasn't like it was early morning. It's not like I hit the roads at an inopportune time. I waited. And it should have been fine."

The good news: she wasn't hurt, and her tow finally showed.

"I'm very excited, and I hope that he can get me out. Because I don't want to be here anymore."

The city says it will transition to plowing Priority Two streets Wednesday night.

Once those are determined to be clear, they will move on to residential, or Priority Three, streets.

You can see when streets were last plowed and find out which priority level your street is by clicking here.

Every winter storm is different, so the strategy for responding to a specific storm varies from storm to storm. However, each street has a priority:

  • Priority 1 roadways include State Routes 33, 104 and 315 and arterial streets
  • Priority 2 roadways include collector streets
  • Priority 3 roadways include residential streets


Columbus’ Snow Warriors are responsible for 6,387 lane miles of roadway, more than Cleveland and Cincinnati combined. Columbus’ 6,387 lane miles include:

  • 372 lane miles on the parts of State Routes 33, 104 and 315 for which the City of Columbus is responsible
  • 3,308 lane miles of arterial streets. Examples include High Street, Livingston Avenue, Morse Road, Parsons Avenue, Sawmill Road, Sullivant Avenue and Whittier Street.
  • 1,053 lane miles of collector streets. Examples include Argyle Drive, Blenheim Road, Binns Boulevard, Buttles Avenue, Dunedin Road, Eastmoor Boulevard, Skywae Drive, Summit Row Boulevard and East Woodrow Avenue.
  • 1,654 lane miles of residential streets. Examples include Duxberry Avenue, Garden Road, Franklin Avenue, Kossuth Street, Laramie Drive, Parkside Road, Scottsdale, Avenue, Welch Avenue and Wetmore Road