By Melissa Garcia

DENVER (CBS4) – The City of Denver launched its team of smaller plows into the neighborhoods for the first time this season on Sunday.

The launch is governed by a new plan on when to deploy residential snowplows.

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In the past, Denver sent the smaller plows out only when snowfall accumulation reached certain levels.

The city’s new plan, however, sends them out alongside the fully-deployed big fleets when Denver Public Works staff members believe the residential plows can help shave off the top few inches of side streets to keep them passable.

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In addition to the city’s 70 big plows out dropping de-icing material and clearing Denver’s main roads, Denver’s 36 residential plows will also make a single pass through every side street in the city, said Heather Burke, a spokeswoman at DPW.

Some Capitol Hill residents were excited for the change.

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Barbara Amato, who owns “A Pet’s Paradise” on Corona Street near 9th Avenue, was one of them.

By Sunday’s noon opening, she and employee Lea Lemense had cleared about five inches of snow from the business sidewalks.

“Trying to get out here before (the snow) all gets smashed down by foot traffic,” Amato said as she shoveled.

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The 30-year-old Capitol Hill resident knows how snow can build up on the back roads.

“Our side streets are a mess,” Amato told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

“People take care of the sidewalks pretty well. I think the roads, can be a little bit tougher,” Lemense added.

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In 2017, DPW hired additional drivers to deploy the small plows more often.

Chris Brown and his husband Mark Anthony, who live in Denver’s Platt Park neighborhood, hoped the additional side street plowing would prevent accidents caused by slippery roads.

“I will say, some of these intersections here in the neighborhood, people sometimes do have a hard time stopping,” Anthony said.

Burke said that Denver will have an additional 16-20 residential drivers plowing the side streets overnight Sunday into Monday morning.

LINK: City Of Denver Snow Plan

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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