Snow Plowing Information
Our Snow Plowing Process:
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.
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.
When a snow emergency is declared, it lasts 96 hours and special parking rules go into effect. We encourage everyone to download the FREE Saint Paul Winter Snow App at www.stpaul.gov/snowapp.
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.
During the winter season we ask all commuters to be patient and safe. Thanks!
- Salt applied using pre-wet to maximize effectiveness †
- High priority arterial route items anti-iced
- Downtown streets anti-iced
- Day Plow Routes completed by end of snow emergency second phase
- Night Plow Routes completed by end of snow emergency first phase
- Arterial streets treated within 10 hours after event ends
- City-identified sidewalks cleared within 24 hours after street operations end
- *Indicates a Snow Emergency was declared
- † Reported numbers are estimates due to equipment issues that resulted in inaccurate measurements. The average of 50 percent for 2015-2016 is an increase over the estimated average of 10 percent for 2014-2015.
- ‡ A large snowfall event on February 2nd resulted in multiple days to clear walks and steps. High priority steps/walks were cleared within 24 hours. Due to timing of the snow and a snow emergency declaration, street maintenance was unable to get back on arterials until after the snow emergency, which was more than 10 hours after the event ended.
- n/a indicates data was not applicable to that snow event or emergency.