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Snow and Ice

 

The Street Division coordinates snow and ice control 24/7 during the winter season utilizing City trucks on primary roads and contracted plow trucks when plowing snow on residential streets, public parking lots and pathways. For questions or concerns related to snow & ice removal, please call the Street Division mainline at 779-348-7260.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The Public Works Department is responsible for the following:

  • Plowing & Salting:
    • 250 miles of arterial and collector (primary) streets
    • 529 miles of local (residential) streets
    • 625 cul de sacs
    • 42 miles of multi-use paths
    • 48 public parking lots
  • Declaring the city-wide snow emergency ordinance
  • Enforcing odd/even parking
  • Enforcing snow removal on public sidewalks in commercial areas

WHAT IS THE ODD/EVEN PARKING ORDINANCE

In order for our crews to remove snow and ice, we must have the ability to safely and effectively maneuver a plow truck up and down our streets. If a snow or ice storm reaches the point that streets are becoming difficult to clear, City officials can declare a Snow Emergency.

A Snow Emergency requires that vehicles be parked on the odd address side of the street when the date ends in an odd number and on the even address side of the street when the date ends on an even number. For example, on January 5th, you would park on the odd address side of the street. If the snow emergency carries into the next day, at 8:00 AM your car should be moved to the even address side of the street.

Both the Police department and snow ticketing staff will issue parking tickets at the cost of $60.00 to vehicles that are parked on the wrong side of the street. It’s safe to assume that if it’s snowing the Odd/Even Parking is in effect.

Although the ordinance is typically only put into effect when 2” of snow has fallen or is expected, the City may declare and emergency in preparation of a snow or ice storm.

  • If at all possible, please remove your vehicle from the street during a Snow Emergency Declaration
  • If your street is marked as “No Parking” on one side of the street, the Snow Emergency Declaration allows you to park legally in the restricted area during the time that the Snow Emergency Declaration is in effect.
  • The Odd/Even Parking is in effect so that plows can safely go down the streets. The next day when the parking changes, to the other side of the street, the plows may or may not return to clear the other side.
  • Do not assume that you can move your car when the street is plowed. Your car must remain parked appropriately until after the Snow Emergency has been lifted.
  • All vehicles must be moved to the correct side of the street at 8:00 a.m.

RESIDENTIAL PLOWING AND SALTING

When 2” of snow or more is expected to accumulate on the pavement, the City’s plowing contractor will be dispatched to clear residential streets. Due to the amount of lane mileage city-wide, this takes anywhere from 12-14 hours to complete. In order to progress through this operation in a systematic fashion, the City is divided into 24 residential routes consisting of 4 different sections in each route (A, B, C, and D sections) totaling 96 sections City-wide. To get this job done within this timeframe, 150 plow trucks are needed at a minimum and 15-20 skid steers / tractors to handle cul de sacs and other problematic areas.

When a residential plowing operation is in progress, you can view completion in live time: Click here.

Contractors do not salt City streets. The Public Works fleet will apply road salt on residential streets when the plowing operation is complete and once all arterial roadways are cleared. If cars are parked on both sides of the street, your street may not get salted.      

CITIZEN RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Clearing sidewalks on property that border a public place, driveways and alleys.
  • Per Rockford Code of Ordinances Section 26-9, it is unlawful to plow, push, blow, or otherwise deposit snow on a public streets or place. This applies to, but is not limited to, the depositing of snow removed from sidewalks and/or driveways.

Mailboxes

  • The goal of the Street Maintenance Department is to clear the streets for travel. No matter how hard we try, it is not possible to provide perfect conditions for your mail carrier. Final clearing adjacent to mailboxes is the responsibility of each resident.
  • If your mailbox gets damaged by a snowplow, please call the Street Division at 779-348-7260. A temporary mailbox will be placed until the ground thaws in the spring at which point, a permanent wooden post and new mailbox will be installed as a replacement.
  • Here’s a past postcard we received from the postmaster regarding clearance to mailboxes:

Snow postcard

The End of Your Driveway

  • The City’s crews and contractors use side discharge plows. As the plows move forward, snow moves along the blade from the left to the right. The discharge from the blade is deposited along the curb or in the grass boulevard on the city right of way. This discharge, officially known as a “windrow”, ends up leaving a relatively small amount of snow in driveway approaches along the route. While we understand the aggravation this can cause, this natural result of plowing is unavoidable.
  • Please do not place trash receptacles directly in the streets on days of scheduled pickups. Plow trucks will be unable to adequately plow to the curbs if garbage cans are blocking. Please place in your driveway approach or in the terrace behind the curb.

Fire Hydrants

  • Fire hydrants need to remain accessible at all times. Residents are encouraged to keep the area surrounding fire hydrants clear to ensure rapid response in the event its use were needed.

COMMUNICATIONS

There are a number of ways the City communicates snow and ice information. The most popular and up to date are:

  • City’s Facebook page at City of Rockford Government
  • City Twitter Feed @CityofRockford
  • Media press releases
  • Local news coverage
  • FREE mobile Snow & Ice App – Get up to date info and track residential plowing progress when operations are running. Scan the QR code below and follow download instructions. Call the Street Division at 779-348-7260 for assistance if needed.

IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEBER

  • Always call 911 if you are in need of fire or police assistance
  • Odd/Even parking ordinance goes into effect when a Snow Emergency has been declared. Check the City Facebook page, Twitter, news media coverage, free snow app or call the street division at 779-348-7260 to verify.
  • City contractors plow residential streets. A typical operation requires 12-14 hours to clear all residential streets. City trucks salt after.
  • Do not put garbage cans in streets.
  • Snow “windrows” left at the end of driveways after plowing are unavoidable.
  • City crews are responsible for clearing streets. Residents are responsible for clearing around mailboxes.
  • If you suspect your mailbox was damaged by a plow truck. Please call the Street Division mainline.
  • City trucks plow and salt arterial and collector roads 1st and salt residential streets 2nd.
    • Arterial / Collector street map showing which main roads the City plows and salts first: CLICK HERE
    • When a Residential plowing operation is in progress, you can view operational status: CLICK HERE

Important Points To Remember

  • If your street is marked as “No Parking” on one side of the street, the Snow Emergency Declaration allows you to park legally in the restricted area during the time that the Snow Emergency Declaration is in effect.
  • The Odd/Even Parking is in effect so that plows can safely go down the streets. The next day when the parking changes, to the other side of the street, the plows may or may not return to clear the other side. If at all possible, please remove your vehicle from the street.
  • Do not assume that you can move your car when the street is plowed. Your car must remain parked appropriately until after the Snow Emergency has been lifted.
  • All vehicles must be moved to the correct side of the street at 8:00 a.m.