It is the city's responsibility in Michigan to take care of local roads and ensure that they are safe for drivers during the winter. Let's take a look at Ann Arbor and how it keeps roads free of snow, ice, tree branches and other debris during the winter months.
When caring for roadways during the winter months, Ann Arbor's primary goal is to ensure that the roadways offer a safe driving surface for motorists traveling at reasonable speeds. That said, Ann Arbor does not implement what is called a "bare pavement policy" since doing so is unaffordable. Bare pavement policies are also known to have negative effects on waterways, road surfaces and can even damage roads in a way that makes them less safe.
The city of Ann Arbor takes care of and plows approximately 98 miles of roadways and 197 miles of streets in residential areas. The main strategy is to plow streets that get 4-inches of snow cover within 24 hours of a storm. Major roadways and roadways used by the following day's garbage routes receive first priority.
Ann Arbor also uses a mixture of 95 to 5 percent sand and salt to treat major roads and other select locations. This helps to provide a safer surface for cars to drive on. Most towns in Michigan have a special snow desk that you can call in order to report snowed in areas in need of the city's attention and Ann Arbor is no different.
Remember: use common sense and drive safely this winter and you can limit your risk getting injured in an accident caused by bad weather conditions. Also, if you are injured, and it is the result of your city's neglect in caring for its roadways, you may have a viable claim for damages against the city in civil court.
Source: City of Ann Arbor, Michigan, "Winter Street & Sidewalk Maintenance," accessed Oct. 29, 2015