What to remember about campus in winter

Students weren't the only ones to return to campus this week. Several inches of snow also fell Wednesday into Thursday.

Knowing where to park when significant snow covers campus parking lots will help you and the facilities planning and management (FPM) crews that clear lots. Drivers are asked to not park in their usual parking lots until they have been cleared. There are several designated lots where all valid ISU parking permits will be honored:

  • Southwest corner of Iowa State Center (lots A3, A4, B5 and B6)
  • North of Molecular Biology (lots 29 and 30)
  • North of General Services Building (lot 41)

Anyone parking at the Iowa State Center can ride CyRide to campus. The free #23 Orange route runs at five- to 10-minute intervals. During significant weather events, CyRide adds buses to routes to assist the campus community.

FPM crews follow these six priorities for clearing snow and ice:

  • Roadways serving university facilities
  • Parking lots: Accessible spaces, then permit spaces and general spaces
  • Main walkways traversing campus and leading to main building entrances
  • Main building entrances and accessible entrances
  • Secondary sidewalks (those not in the primary route to campus facilities but instead leading to side or back doors
  • Secondary building entrances including side and back entrances and limited-access exits

Employees may use the online report a problem form or call 294-5100 to let FPM know about spots where ice or snow are a concern.

Safe walking

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) developed safe winter walking posters in PDF format that can be printed and hung in buildings across campus. EHS has five tips for walking on snow or ice:

  • Plan ahead to give yourself time.
  • Wear shoes or boots with good traction.
  • Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles, entering or leaving buildings and climbing or descending stairs.
  • Walk on designated walkways.
  • Use short steps or shuffle for stability.

There are salt/sand shakers located in many building entrances across campus that employees and students may use to treat problem areas. If more salt/sand is needed during the snow season, call 294-5100.

Safe driving

EHS offers several tips for winter driving:

  • Remove all snow and ice from windows, headlights and taillights before you drive.
  • Make sure all movements are controlled and deliberate. Accelerate slowly to avoid loss of traction and loss of control.
  • Move in a manner that will allow others to adjust to your actions.
  • Anticipate actions of other drivers and dive defensivley.
  • Bridges and overpasses freeze before other road surfaces -- use caution.
  • Remember -- "Smooth and slow on ice and snow." Beware of "black ice" when the roadway appears dry but the color of the pavement is darker and dull looking.
  • Driving in winter conditions causes rapid mental and physical fatigue and reduces reaction times.
  • Use greater following distances. Stopping distances on roads with ice and snow can triple over distances under normal conditions. Double or triple the two second-count rule to create a buffer zone behind the vehicle in front of yours.
  • Pass with care; passing lanes are not as well maintained as driving lanes.
  • Brake and steer gently and deliberately. Brake carefully with short rapid application of the brakes.
  • Turn on your low-beam headlights or fog lights whenever fog, rain or snow reduces visibility. High beams increase the glare and reduce visibility.