Snow Removal Information

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snowplow

The City's snow removal plan is to communicate the process and level of service for snow removal and ice control for the City of Louisville. Streets will be plowed and have anti-icing materials applied according to established priorities. Priorities are set based upon traffic volume, public safety, and access to emergency facilities and schools. The City's streets are divided into 4 priorities:

Priority 1 - Major Arterials These roadways are the major arterial streets and have four or more travel lanes. These streets are given first priority since they provide the interconnecting link from all corners of the City. Also included are streets that provide access for emergency services such as fire stations, hospitals and the Police Department. School Zones in the city are also considered Priority 1 during normal opening hours.  Priority 1 streets will be maintained for all snow events.

Priority 2 - CollectorsThese roadways are minor arterial and major collector streets and are generally streets that connect major arterial streets to residential streets. Also included are streets that provide access to major office areas and business areas such as grocery stores and service stations. Priority 2 streets will be maintained for all snow events.

Priority 3 - Residential through Streets Selected local streets within residential and commercial areas will be plowed on a limited basis after priority one and two streets are passable. The first local streets to be plowed will be primary streets and loop streets through subdivisions. This plan allows all residences to be in close proximity of a plowed street in the shortest amount of time. The City will address the remaining residential streets as time permits and weather conditions warrant. The City attempts to plow local streets prior to times of greatest use, i.e. the hours when residents leave home and return from work, provided higher priority streets are passable.

Priority 4 - Residential Other Residential streets receive one pass after arterials, collector streets, streets that serve schools and hospitals, and residential loop streets.

Our goal is to make streets passable, not totally clear them of snow.  The City will push snow to the side of the street. With that in mind, if local streets are passable and plowing the street will make it worse, or it will merely push snow into driveways that people have already shoveled, our crews will leave them alone. There is nothing worse than having to clear your driveway twice in one day because a snowplow filled in all your hard work. 

For residents, snowy weather brings slippery sidewalks. City code requires property owners to clear sidewalks of ice and snow within 24 hours of the last accumulated snowfall. Please be sure to keep your sidewalks passable for pedestrians. Thank you.

To report an area of concern and/or a special request you can send an email to Report Snow Removal or call the Snow Removal Hotline and leave a message at 303.335.4760.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the City start snow or ice control operations?

The Public Works On-Call Crew, in conjunction with weather reports, field staff and Police Department observations will decide when to begin snow or ice control operations on a case by case basis. The criteria for those decisions are:

  • Weather forecasts & temperatures; 
  • Snow accumulation;
  • Drifting of snow that causes problems for travel;
  • Icy conditions which seriously affect travel; and
  • Time of snowfall in relationship to heavy use of streets.

How does the City decide which streets get plowed?

Our first priority is to keep the main arterial streets open. We also ensure that we keep the access open to critical facilities such as the hospital and fire departments. Our second priority is to plow around schools and designated problem areas, such as problem hills and intersections. Other than hills and problem spots, we do not normally plow residential streets. For snow events over (2”) two inches the City will plow residential streets enough to make them passable.

Why do you plow snow on my sidewalk after I have cleared it?

We realize this is very frustrating and apologize for the inconvenience. Our snow plow drivers are instructed to keep from getting snow on the sidewalks as much as possible. The snow is pushed from left to right.  The discharge goes onto the shoulder area of the street. We try not to throw snow onto the sidewalk, but slowing down is not always the answer. Slower means fewer roads that get plowed and sometimes the trucks lose traction at slower speeds and can’t move the snow. However, with some streets, there is simply nowhere to put the snow other than over the curb and onto the attached sidewalk.

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