A Resident’s Guide to Snow Operations

Murray Street - January 25, 2005
Murray Street - January 25, 2005

When snow falls, it is imperative that streets and sidewalks get cleared as quickly and efficiently as possible to ensure transportation safety as well as to restore curbside parking convenience. City plowing and snow removal will always be impacted by such unavoidable impediments as equipment failures and breakdowns, equipment maintenance and refueling, necessary crew breaks, vehicles disabled in deep snow, and the unpredictable severity of New England’s winter storms. Residents need to “pitch in” to help with cleanup operations.

This guide will help explain City operations and resident requirements.


While plow drivers try to minimize the amount of snow that gets plowed into driveways, clearing driveway openings is the responsibility of the property owner. Plows cannot be lifted as they pass by driveways.

Residents should realize that snow may be plowed into driveways several times during snow plowing operations. Residents may wish to clear driveways several times during the storm or wait until plowing activities have concluded. Shoveling snow into the street is prohibited by City Ordinance.


Snow and ice makes walking difficult for school children, mail carriers and elders.

Clear openings at corners and crosswalks so pedestrians can cross safely.

Property owners or tenants are required by City Ordinance to remove snow and ice from abutting sidewalks within 24 hours from the end of the snowfall, and should clear all sidewalks and footways at a safe and comfortable width of at least 24 inches.


Remember, driving in winter snowstorms should be avoided whenever possible. In every winter storm, there are times when road conditions are hazardous despite everyone’s best efforts. The Department’s work to restore safe road conditions is completed more quickly and efficiently when roads are free of traffic and illegally parked cars.