Nov 292006
 
Authors: Geoff Johnson

Through a steady haze of falling snow and his own breath, Joel Stanczyk trudged down Whitcomb Street on Tuesday night from campus to his car, parked just north of Myrtle Street.

With an inch or two of snow on the ground, Stanczyk said he’d probably wake up a little earlier than usual Wednesday morning.

“Based on the weather forecast, I’ll probably allow for some ice-scraping time,” he said.

Only a few blocks away, though, just west where Sherwood and Laurel streets meet, one CSU student’s thoughts were on what to do about his newly wrecked car.

The student, who didn’t want to be named in the paper, said his head-on, driver-to driver collision on Laurel happened when the car he collided with started sliding across the double-yellow lines.

“This was definitely weather-related,” the student said, agitated. “I don’t want to be in (the Collegian) for this.”

He added, “I’ve got no witty comments.”

Acting Company Officer Ronald Simms of the Poudre Fire Authority, among others, responded to the crash. Of any injuries sustained by those involved, he said, “It’s nothing major.”

He added that while the winter weather does often contribute to accidents, typically lower driving speeds make it so the crashes “usually don’t amount to much (in the way of injuries).”

Sliding his foot on the sidewalk of an apartment building adjacent to the crash, Simms said, “as you can see, it’s (very slippery).”

Since 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, the Fort Collins Police Department has responded to 47 accidents across the city, FCPD records manager Susan Neiman said Wednesday morning.

On campus, though, Outdoor Services tries to make things a little easier on those trying to make it to class or work on particularly snowy days.

Doug Nagel, manager of outdoor services, said the average annual budget for snow removal is about $70 thousand. He added, though, that the snow removal doesn’t stop if that budget is exceeded.

“We spend what we have to,” Nagel said. “We cut back in other areas if need be, to do the snow removal.”

Nagel also said there is a three-tier priority system for on-campus snow removal.

First priorities include major campus arteries like Meridian Avenue and Pitkin and Plum streets, as well as handicap access doorways and parking areas. Residence hall kitchens are also first priority.

Second-tier priorities include commuter parking lots – “to get people on campus.”

Third-tier priorities are residence hall parking lots. “It’s difficult to get those lots plowed,” Nagel said. “There are always cars in them, and it’s difficult to clear them beyond the driveways.”

Outdoor Services’ fleet includes, Nagel said, three large single-axle dump trucks, two smaller dump trucks and five pick-up trucks for areas like the Lory Student Center Plaza.

Despite all the discussion and hurry to get snow out of the way, though, Stanczyk said he was going to make some time to enjoy it.

“I’m going to try and allow for some play time – some snowball fights with my friends,” he said, laughing.

Staff writer Geoff Johnson can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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Fort Collins weather forecast

Friday: Mostly sunny, a high of 33 degrees

Friday night: Slight chance of snow, with a low of 12 degrees

If you encounter a particularly hazardous area during a snow storm or at other time, contact facilities management at 491-0077.

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