Green cones are beginning to show up in the parking lots — a sure sign of winter coming to Fermilab, which means it’s time to take more care walking in parking lots and choosing where to park. This year, in addition to the established parking restrictions and road closures, there will also be a few additional closures.
Some roads on site will be closed all winter, with the first significant snowfall. With the road closures, crews can maintain the same level of service in critical areas of the site. North Eola Road from Batavia Road to C Road East and Wilson Road from McChesney to B Road will be closed for the winter. In addition, Main Ring Road will be closed to all travel except emergency and service vehicles. Limited snow removal service in the Main Ring will provide access only for these vehicles. Service levels and access will not change in the F4/AZero and CZero areas.
For the 2019-20 snow season, there will be additional closures of Whitwell Street from F Road to Discovery Road and Discovery Road to C Road West. There will also be a closure of Blackhawk Boulevard between Batavia Road and Che Che Pinqua Street.
Every winter, FESS Roads and Grounds crews clear more than 85 parking lots across the Fermilab site. In an effort to streamline parking lot plowing operations without jeopardizing safety, FESS Roads and Grounds, in cooperation with building managers, mark unneeded portions of about 25 parking lots that will not receive snow removal service. These areas are highlighted with lime-green safety cones. The cones will designate the areas as no-parking zones throughout the winter season. No vehicles may park in the marked zones. The cones will remain in place until the end of March. Fermilab security personnel will monitor the no-parking areas. Establishing these no-service areas will allow for better and more frequent snow removal efforts in high-priority snow removal locations while still reducing overall cost. In addition, the use of less salt and less fuel will have a positive environmental effect.
In the 2019-20 season, there will be additional green-cone areas due to staffing shortages, which will be temporary with the hope that staffing levels will return to normal prior to the 2020-21 snow season.
It’s important to focus our efforts in keeping the roads and walkways as clear as possible, as injuries resulting from falls while walking on snowy and icy surfaces continue to be one of our main winter concerns at Fermilab. With more than 400 building entrances on site, it is challenging for snow crews to keep every entrance snow- and ice-free all winter. Employees and users are encouraged to walk more slowly, to take smaller steps and to look closely for snow and ice. Uneven surfaces can complicate matters. Chunks of ice and snow or even coarse rock salt can cause normally smooth surfaces to become uneven. Expect the unexpected, wear footwear that provides traction on snow and ice, slow down, and don’t let yourself become distracted while walking in winter conditions.
If you have questions about parking during the winter season, please contact the building manager for your work area.
Michael Pfaff is the Fermilab roads and grounds manager.