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ST. LOUIS – Citing public frustration in wake of almost a foot of snowfall, Mayor Francis Slay announced Thursday that the city will start plowing side streets for the first time ever.

City Streets Department Director Todd Waelterman said during a news conference that he's "not sure if it's the right thing to do," but after public frustration, authorities "had to give (plowing side streets) a shot."

"Last night I took a truck out and I went down some of these streets to help get my frame of mind about how difficult it is. And it is. And we're gonna hit a few cars and we're gonna have some problems. We're gonna take a few mirrors off some cars. But it's all about removing this snow and trying to do it in the safest manner possible," said Waelterman.

The decision comes after some local residents said they had difficulty driving on a residential streets, despite the fact that most main thoroughfares were clear as of Wednesday evening.

Neighbors in the Tower Grove East neighborhood were fed-up enough to try their hand at shoveling the street themselves.

"We have plowed the same way (arterials and biz districts) for years," Slay tweeted Thursday afternoon. "We'll find out if the reasons will hold.

The Citizens' Service Bureau has taken 510 individual calls for snow removal on city streets alone after the storm. To determine its long-term snow removal policy, the city is soliciting public feedback at this link: http://bit.ly/1diXFJb.

You can also tweet your feedback to @stlstreets and to the @stlcsb.

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