Lesson from Rand Rd and Palatine Rd: Watch Out for Roving Snow Banks in Times of Ongoing Snow Removal


A motorist drives into a snow bank that appears to pop out of nowhere on Rand Road at Palatine Road, police and a bystander dig the motorist out, and the source of the roving snow bank is discovered.

Clearing snow from the Ground Hog Day Blizzard of 2011 is ongoing. While commuters and motorists are noticing a dramatic improvement since the morning after the big blizzard, many roads, and parking lots still have some serious obstructions.

Crews working round the clock are overworked. They clear roads first so they’re passable, and then work on details — like narrowed lanes and shoulders. As of noon Friday the northbound lanes of Rand Road were still totally obstructed by snow. Northbound traffic was forced to drive on the center painted median.

Arlington Heights Road also was still obstructed in the northbound right lane near Thomas Middle School between Olive Street and Thomas Street.

Thomas Street was also obstructed on westbound lanes between Rand Road and Dryden.

Many other arterial roadways were in similar condition and most side streets were still narrowed Friday.

Along Palatine Road, a team of IDOT snow plows worked together to widen Palatine Road and get the roadway back to its normal status. In the process, they would temporarily create two-to-three foot snow banks across the Rand Road intersection. One unlucky driver was forced into a snow bank and stranded in that snow bank. The snow bank was across the entire right lane of northbound Rand Road, just north of Palatine Road. It’s not surprising that a driver faced with the sudden appearance of a snow bank at the busy intersection, might try to push through the obstruction to avoid tying up the intersection.

Arlington Heights police responded to the intersection, where someone handed the police officer a snow shovel. Police started digging the driver out. Then another motorist arrived with a snow shovel and helped the police dig out the driver. Within minutes the stranded motorist was released from the snow bank and the driver and passengers were on their way.

An Arlington Heights public works plow was called in to clear the snow bank, and the rogue snow bank was cleared from Rand Road.

While crews work round the clock, motorists need to beware of unexpected changes in road conditions by ongoing snow removal work.

Snow removal breaks budgets.