This recent winter event saw an increase in phone calls to the Township.  Residents were calling to report roads that needed plowing; icy patches that needed salting; and the occasional mailbox that was knocked off a post.  We wanted to share some tidbits with our residents that our assistant secretary found interesting.



First, not all the roads in the Township are “Township Roads”.  Roads (or sections of roads) such as Conestoga, Saint Matthews, Birchrun  , Hollow, and Flowing Springs are actually state-maintained roadways, which means that PennDOT will be in charge of plowing (see the map on website under Potholes/Road Issues/Dead Animals:  During a storm, PennDOT will plow and salt major highways first before moving to less-traveled rural roads.  Per PennDOT, “During severe winter storms, equipment is often redirected from assigned rural routes to assist with plowing heavily traveled roads first.”


For our Township roads, our Public Works Department starts by plowing the more heavily traveled roads first. Then the secondary and residential streets, including cul-de-sacs, are plowed.   They have approximately 55 miles (100 lane-miles) of road to keep clean.  Our drivers stay below 20MPH with slower speeds on smaller or curvier roads. 


It takes many hours to complete one full pass through of the Township.  When snow is falling, the roads will never be fully bare.  For example, if snow is falling at 1” per hour and a truck takes 3 hours to get back to the beginning of its route, 3” of snow will have fallen since that area was last plowed.  So please note, before you call in saying that a roadway needs to be plowed or has not been plowed, it may just be that the road has been plowed (but more snow has fallen) or that the plows are in the middle of a “plowing cycle”.  Patience is appreciated, but phone calls are still welcome.


Many property owners place mailboxes within the limits of the legal right-of-way of our roads. This allows for more convenient delivery.  However, since those boxes are within the right-of-way, damages are the responsibility of the property owner.  Heavy, wet snow coming off a plow is moving at a very high rate of speed and can travel a fair distance.  People may not think about replacing mailboxes/posts during the warmer months, but it sometimes needs to be considered.  Those posts are exposed to the elements all year, and sometimes the hardware used to secure the boxes is shallow.  This can easily cause a box to sail off a post when hit with heavy snow.


Please, don’t do this.  During weather emergencies (sleet, snow and/or freezing rain), we all want our families to stay at home.  For some, that typically includes parking additional cars in the street.  However, cars parked in the street hamper plowing can sometimes cause damage to cars (remember when we spoke about the mailboxes?).  Please keep cars in driveways and off of roadways.  Once the weather event is over and the plowing is done, you can move your vehicles back into the street.  And since no one should be driving in bad weather, it shouldn’t be that big of an inconvenience to park a few extra cars in the driveway during plowing, right?

Many thanks for hanging in until the end!  And as always, feel free to call the Township at 610-458-1601 if you have any questions or concerns.