The scorching summer heat has finally begun to fade and fall weather has added a crisp breath of air as we begin our morning commutes. Deciding to brave the cool early-autumn morning without a jacket spurs thoughts of the unavoidable colder months yet to come, and arouses the question every Oklahoman ponders this time of year – “Reckon if we’s gonna’ get snow this winter?”

In preparation for the upcoming winter months, ACOG staff have begun working with our member local governments and state agencies to develop our annual Regional Snow Routes map for the Central Oklahoma area. Although the amount of white stuff we see on the ground pales in comparison to a Northern winter, we hope our efforts will encourage safe and well-informed driving in the winter months to come.

Since 2007, we have collaborated efforts with more than 30 area municipal entities, parts of five counties and multiple state agencies, including the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, to provide a map highlighting the highest priority routes to be maintained during snow and ice storms.  Addressing the overlapping coverage areas between state, county and local entities has been a positive cooperative experience in previous years and we anticipate the same this year.

Identifying snow routes is based on traffic counts, peak driving conditions, emergency routes for commuters to travel if a snow storm hits during the day and changing traffic conditions due to construction. The management of roadways may include the spreading of abrasives (sanding), anti-icing applications (salt and chemicals) and snow removal and clearance (plowing).

Defining snow clearance routes does not guarantee the streets will be cleared. Therefore, city and county officials encourage motorists to observe winter driving rules and only drive on snow and ice covered roads when necessary. The snow routes present the best routes to take if and when drivers are out and about in a severe winter weather event.

We hope to continue our tradition of providing as much information as we can to make the citizens of Central Oklahoma as prepared for inclement weather as possible. The 2013 Regional Snow Routes map will be published in November and will appear in the Daily Oklahoman and be made available on our website.

For more information about winter driving tips, such as how to prepare your vehicle before venturing out in winter weather and what to do if you get stuck in a snow bank, please visit the ACOG website.

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