Don't expect your street to be cleared first after a snowstorm

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Every time it snows, the debate over clearing streets resurfaces. What streets are a priority and why isn’t mine one of them?

With more than 400 miles of roads to clear, Rapid City street crews have a mega task anytime it snows. Add to that the fact that people always tend to wonder how long after the snowfall their road will be plowed.

"They're going to take care of the major roads first but we have to be careful in the residential areas," school bus driver Leland Degolier said.

City staffers say it doesn't make sense to clear private roads first.

"A lot of times people in residential areas say ‘Well, why don't you do us first?’ We don't do the residential areas first because if we did then where would you go?" Rapid City’s communications manager Darrell Shoemaker said.

Snow removal crews begin by clearing main roads and emergency routes -- like Haines Avenue, Fifth Street, Mount Rushmore Road and Canyon Lake Road.

This is done so people with emergencies have an open route to the hospital or an urgent care center.

Unless you are in an emergency situation, city officials say it's smarter to stay at home then to brave those winter road conditions.

"You may have all the confidence in the world and you think you can get from point A to point B in an allotted period of time but you don't know about the person in front of you who may fishtail out at the next intersection," Shoemaker explained.