Keeping the Roads Clear: Snow Plowing at RIT

Rochester was recently named the 3rd snowiest city in the US receiving an average snowfall of 100.5 inches per year and any RIT student who has been here through at least one winter knows that the winter isn’t shy in Rochester when it comes to snow. Fortunately for RIT, walkways, parking lots, and roads don’t ever seem to be covered for long when the white stuff comes down. I recently talked with Facilities Management Service Grounds Foreman Chris Furnare about the snow plowing efforts at RIT. Chris oversees the 15 member team that works 24/7 to keep RIT as clear of snow as possible.The team considers roads to be their top priority and then will work to clear walkways and finally parking lots. While the team does put down salt, unfortunately due to this winter’s extreme cold, the area salt mines are running low on their product which means that FMS will not be able to use as much in the parking lots. Chris gave some good advice to students to help them stay safe and to help the FMS team better complete their job:
  • Dress for the weather (shorts aren’t so good)
  • Keep an eye out for plows and give them room when you see them
  • Walk more carefully and take a cue from penguins who pretty much have it down
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Give your self extra time when travelling (including the walk to class)
FMS Ground Crew Snow Clearing by the numbers:
  • 23,600 square feet of steps shoveled each time it snows
  • 18 miles of roads
  • 70 acres of parking lots
  • 28 acres of walkways (like the Quarter Mile)
  • 84 man hours to clear snow from an average storm (2-4 inches)
Check out this video by fellow Behind the Bricks team member Ajantha Vijayasekharan to see the plows in action!