Snow removal districts and priorities have been established to focus the city’s snow removal operations on primary transportation corridors and fully utilize snow removal equipment. View the Snow and Ice Removal Districts and Priorities Map for information about specific street priorities and districts.
While the city's snow removal operations in residential areas are limited, crews respond to safety hazards at intersections and obstructions to storm drains or gutters caused by accumulated snow and ice.
Whenever any significant snow accumulation is expected, please avoid parking along city streets when possible. This will allow snowplows to remove snow more effectively and efficiently.
Snow Removal Priorities
Depending on a storm's intensity and duration, equipment failures, or other emergencies, snow removal operations within some areas of the city may be delayed or suspended to allocate resources to higher-priority areas/streets.
Changes to the City's Snow and Ice Removal Ordinance
Changes to the city's laws for the removal of snow and ice were approved in August of 2023. These changes impact the responsibilities of property owners, occupants, contractors, and other agents within the city. The full text of the ordinance is found in Section 9-4-1 of the Municipal Code. A summary of the changes is shown below:
Clarifications on the Depositing of Snow
The new ordinance explicitly forbids:
- Depositing snow or ice against any fire hydrant, traffic control device, or appurtenance.
- Depositing snow or ice on any sidewalk, street, public transportation loading/unloading area, or designated emergency access lane.
- Deposited snow or ice to interfere with the safe flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic or obstruct roadway drainage in any way.
All snow removed from private property is to be deposited on that property and cannot be deposited within the city right-of-way. Snow removed from within the right-of-way may be deposited in a designated snow storage area, such as the boulevard between the sidewalk and curb line. If you are removing snow from the right-of-way, please contact the Streets Division at 970-240-1443 to determine where snow shall be stored.
Snow Removal Timeframe
Under the new ordinance, sidewalks must be cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours after any snowfall, sleet, or freezing rain. If a violation continues after 24 hours of a written notice, it may result in an abatement at the property owner's expense. The former ordinance required the removal of snow and ice from adjoining sidewalks within a "reasonable time" after every snowfall.
Safety Precautions if Snow Can't Be Removed
If snow and ice cannot be safely removed from a sidewalk, enough sand or another abrasive must be placed on the sidewalk to ensure safe travel within 24 hours after snowfall.
Unattended Vehicles Interfering with Snow Removal
For the safety and efficiency of snow removal operations, vehicles left on city streets that might obstruct the process are kindly asked to be relocated. In instances where they significantly impede snow removal or threaten safety, the vehicle may be relocated without notice. This is purely to ensure everyone's safety and to allow for effective clearing of roads.
Downtown Snow Removal
Whenever snow accumulation is expected, citizens should avoid parking in the downtown area to accommodate snow removal operations. City personnel will install cones and signage at available parking spots to dispose of snow from sidewalk areas and immediately push snow to the end of the block. Snow removal/hauling operations will not commence until other snowplowing procedures have been completed. Snow removal operations may also be delayed depending on weather conditions and personnel availability.
- Why doesn't the city plow my street when they go by?
- Why aren’t the streets in front of my house plowed after every storm?
- Who is responsible for clearing sidewalks?
- Why do snowplows sometimes push snow back into driveway entrances and sidewalks??
- What if I have an emergency and my street isn’t plowed?