Snow Plowing Information
Our Snow Plowing Process:
During a Snow Emergency, Saint Paul Public Works uses up to 80 pieces of equipment in two phases (Night and Day Plow Routes) to plow more than 1,800 lane miles - the entire city - in approximately 24 hours. Our first focus with snow plowing is always to provide safe and passable main streets, including high traffic and public transit areas throughout Saint Paul. We often begin pre-treating, plowing and salting main streets before and during any snow event that could have accumulation on the streets.
During non-snow emergencies, our efforts are concentrated on main roads, and high volume traffic areas. It is not the city's standard practice to plow and or salt residential streets during non-snow emergency snow events due to costs, time constraints, and environment concerns. The city also does not plow alleys.
When a Snow Emergency is declared, it begins at 9 p.m. and lasts 96 hours. Special parking rules go into effect. We encourage everyone to sign up for Snow Emergency emails and text alerts and/or download the FREE Saint Paul Winter Snow App at stpaul.gov/snowapp.
We plow residential streets only when a Snow Emergency goes into effect - starting at 9 p.m. the day it is declared. One of the reasons residential streets are only plowed during a Snow Emergency is because plowing is only effective when everyone moves their vehicles off the streets for the plows to get the full width of the road, and we understand this is an inconvenience for residents and businesses who need enough time and notice (typically at least 6 hours) to move vehicles off the streets. We strive to be good stewards of the City’s resources and tax dollars. That’s why we make sure much of the snow has fallen before we declare a snow emergency.
There are three phases of a snow emergency with special on-street parking restrictions: night plow routes, day plow routes, and clean up.
- Night Plow Routes - 9 p.m. - 7 a.m. the day a snow emergency is declared: All arterial (main streets) and some north-south residential streets are plowed.
- Day Plow Routes - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. the day after a snow emergency is declared: All east-west residential streets and remaining north-south residential streets are plowed.
- Clean Up - Up to 96 hours after a snow emergency is declared: Crews do clean up and "push backs," plowing snow where cars have moved. To avoid a ticket or tow, please do not park in areas that have not been plowed the full width of the street.
Winter Event Reminders for Residents and Visitors
Winter weather can make any mode of travel challenging, but it also affects where you can park your vehicle if the City of Saint Paul needs to declare a Snow Emergency.
To learn if the City of Saint Paul has declared a Snow Emergency you can:
- Call 651-266-PLOW (7569) for a recorded message
- Visit the City's website at www.stpaul.gov/snow
- Check the City’s social media channels at Nextdoor, @stpaulpublicw, @CityofSaintPaul or Facebook at facebook.com/cityofsaintpaul
Here are some important winter weather tips to share with your Saint Paul neighbors or visitors:
- If you are going to be out of town for a few days, please park your vehicle off the street if possible. City ordinance does not allow cars to be parked on the street in the same spot for more than 48 hours.
- If you need to park a vehicle on the street, it's recommended that you have a trusted friend or neighbor who has a set of keys and could move your car if a Snow Emergency is declared.
- Snow Emergencies start at 9 p.m. and last for 96 hours. Learn the parking rules.
- Sign up today for Snow Emergency texts or emails at stpaul.gov/snow. Alerts are available in English, Spanish, Hmong and Somali.
- Download the City's free "Saint Paul Winter Snow Parking" app from the Apple or Google Play stores.
- The City does not plow alleys. Many residents work with their neighbors to hire private contractors to plow alleys.
- Property owners must shovel sidewalks to remove snow and ice within 24 hours after a snowfall.
- Make sure all garbage and recycling carts are not placed in the street (or snowbanks) on your collection day.
- Do not shovel, push, or blow snow into the streets. Thanks for your cooperation and help in getting our streets plowed.
During the winter season we ask all commuters to be patient and safe. Thanks!