Snow Plow Right of Way
This is my first post here, and I don’t want it to be negative, but I did have to play chicken today with a snowplow.
I was coming up the hill on Troy Hill Rd this morning (commuting home from my overnight), and one of those big snow trucks was coming down the hill. I guess the driver decided that he wanted to salt my side of the road and crossed the double yellow lines and proceeded to drive down my lane. He did this as we were about 150 yards apart, and I had a guard rail and fresh snow on my right. As he passed me he looked angry and was gesturing for me to get out of the way or get on the other side of the road? I’ve no real clue what he was thinking. I gave him the big one arm out wide “WTH?” I was wearing mittens at the time so there was no funny business with my middle finger, but it did twitch.
So is this kind of thing kosher up north? I just moved here from Florida; this is my first winter and I don’t know about right of ways with snow plows. I feel like this guy was kind of a jerk, and I wanted to call that 311 when I got home, but figured I’d take a nap first, calm down, and see what the bike-pgh forum thought. Was I in the wrong?
Here’s a google map if that helps sort out the road. Link.
It’s not written in law, but I usually give plows right-of-way regardless of what’s going on.
Hard to say what he was thinking, but coming down the hill in a giant truck can’t be easy.
Kudos for moving here from Florida and riding your bike in this shit. Worst winter I have ever experienced since I moved here 9 years or so ago.
I’ve had two encounters with a snowplow since the big storm while standing waiting for a bus. One, I’m in a bus shelter on McKnight Rd when a plow came along in the curb lane, moving probably 30mph. I and the guy standing with me crammed into the upstream corner as the plow plastered 100 pounds of slop onto the advertisement on the downstream side, up to a height of 8 feet. I sure would not have wanted to be waiting for a bus anywhere else at that moment.
Balance that with this morning, at a non-sheltered stop on Perry Highway, a plow operator saw me crossing Perry to get to my bus. Five minutes later, same plow comes along the other direction, also going 30mph, LIFTS THE BLADE a couple of seconds before he gets to me, and puts it back down 100 feet past me. Major thank yous!
So I guess what I’m saying is, there’s a human being in that plow. Some humans are nice, some are not. Crapshoot who you run into, be it on bus or foot.
Thanks for the replies. Very nice and active community here. I’m still not sure what the plow driver wanted me to do or how I could have given him anymore room if that’s what he wanted, but at least I didn’t unkowingly violate an unwritten Pittsburgh law like moving a parking chair. Probably hadn’t had his coffee (or too much) like StuInMcCandless said.
@rsprake thanks for the kudos, but you’ve lived through 9 winters (regardless of severity) so you can have your kudos back and some extra.
just a lil food for thought. My dad use to drive them yrs ago. as he put it some times laws of physics trump laws of the road. the plows have a mind of their own and sometimes go where they want to. ALWAY give them distance. more then likely he was starting to lose control and annoyed he could of hit u.
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