Committeeman Coles: We’re Trying to Keep the Streets Clear without Wasting Township Resources

plowing 2-21-15 tlsOver the past 20 hours, TLS has been inundated with emails inquiring about the plowing and salting practices of the township – or the apparent lack thereof.

Today, TLS spoke with Committeeman Ray Coles, the liaison to the DPW, who explained what’s happening and the standard procedures.

First of all, explains Coles, the township’s policy, like many other townships’ policies, is not to plow until there are four inches of snow on the ground, and last night, the snow totals fell just short of that.

However, there were trucks out last night salting until the rain began to fall.

“Once it turns to rain, salting is a complete waste,” explained Coles, as the water just washes it away.

Coles added, that the DPW last night also took into consideration the warmer forecast today, which will help clear the roads without wasting resources.

“We’re trying to put the township’s resources to the best use,” Coles says.

Today however, upon the request of the Mayor, there are approximately seven plows out cleaning up the slush in an effort to prevent the roads from turning to sheets of ice when the temperatures drop below freezing tonight, Coles says. In addition, approximately 12 trucks will be out this evening salting the township roads.

With temperatures currently in the 40 degree range, the Committeeman also noted that clearing storm drains near your home would help the clear a path for the running waters, and prevent large ice-buildups on the roads.


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  1. So why don’t they change the policy and plow under 4″?
    Or maybe change the policy not to plow until there is a foot. Don’t blame it on policy. (moderated)
    Wake up to reality, if TLS has so many comments about the snow response something has got to change. It’s either TLS stops posting everyone comments (which should not happen) or the committee men should shape up or ship out.

  2. this town is a mess. pot holes, ice, lakes and rivers at intersections….yup, lets wait till we 4 inches. hey, it was Saturday, and 3.8 inches wouldve been so easy to plow as were all off da roads, and that wouldve prevented all this flooding…..

  3. 7-12 plows WOW for a town of how many miles of rd.?

    School buses this morning had to cancel in mid route due to the dangers of the road.. Suddenly schools were delayed till 10AM announced at 7:30am WHEN CHILDREN WERE WAITING OUTSIDE IN THE COLD.


  4. Lakewood is only 24.8 square miles but there are 1000 miles of road here. Not all the roads are township roads and some developments are still under contractor control so they dont get twp plows, I could be wrong but that is how I understand it. If the developments are still under construction or still controlled by a developer they are not the twp responibility.
    Also some of the roads in this town are country controlled roads & state roads so the twp does not plow them as well.

  5. Don’t know where a lot of people live, but the roads dried up when the sun came out. At one point it was in the high 40’s, the sun did a good job. The only places I saw water on the streets were where people haven’t shoveled sidewalks since first snow and snow covered storm drains. Mr. Coles is right. Come on people do your part, and stop complaining about taxes , everybody has to pay them.

  6. The plowing of the streets would be more effective if people removed their cars from the street. It is not fair to criticize the DPW workers on the work, if the residents won’t take some responsibility also. The plowers have to zigzag around the cars making the street cleaning less effective. People in this town are so quick to blame others.

  7. The town does a great job clearing the streets. The weather is the weather … The same people complaining here that not enough was done would be the first to complain when taxes go up again. Let’s all try to use a little common sense and not be so quick to judge.

  8. JP. Untrue. Citizens expect to get what they pay for. They pay taxes they should get service. Only in this town, is it, the clothing stores do a favor to sell us clothing (mind you through the roof). The grocery stores do a chesed selling you almost expired food (for the same price sold in brooklyn). Bus companies do a chesed bussing your kids (when they are paid by teh city). But again we live in lakewood. That is the way it works.
    But at least, when we pay for something we should get it.
    I am ok for the committemen to get up and say, we cant plow becuase we dont have money.
    but dont say the roads are great- we cant plow etc.
    Say it how it is.

  9. Why would you complain about bussing on Sunday? We pay for that privately. What’s wrong with that? You’d rather all the cars on the road driving to and from school?

  10. In Chelm, every time it snowed they plowed. One day the Wise Men running the township realized that it was a pointless waste of resources to plow over and over after every storm, so they just waited until the summer to plow once after it finally finished snowing.

  11. I for one had to work on saturday on my way home it was very scary cars were sliding all over.My car has new tires and with me only going 25 I was sliding. I understand you want save money but not at the cost of people’s lives.

  12. @gabi
    Thank you for saying it like it is.
    If the public works department is saying we don’t plow until there is 4 inches of snow when the streets are dangerous and icy, something is wrong. And the taxpayers definitely deserve to know what that is. Why is there absolutely no regard for public safety just rules to blame for a lack of response?

  13. Thank you mayor for getting rid of all the slush on my block today. It would’ve made the already treacherous roads tonight even worse.
    Special Thanx to the under-appreciated over-abused DPW employees who although many complain out of pure ignorance and selfishness you guys continue to do ur jobs day in day out. I will say thank you!!!

  14. I traveled sunday night an hour away to monmouth junction through a dozen municipalities. and all the roads were clear. I took mostly local roads and not highways. – as soon as i arrived back in lakewood, i began to skid. I’m not talking black ice, but most streets have layers of white ice on them. I nearly crashed 3 times. – There can be excuses, the amount of cars packs down the snow right away etc. but it needs to be dealt with.
    The only way is if the stats show that there were more accidents here then in neighboring towns during the same time period. and then hold the town accountable for this.

  15. I would think of all the towns around here, Lakewood has the most money. After all they have so many tax payers with big tax rates and so much building constantly adding more taxable homes. So why can’t they plow like the other towns?

Comments are closed.