Division of Streets

Snow & Ice Control and Emergencies

When snowfall reaches at least one-half inch (0.5”), the Division of Streets begins plowing and salting main streets. Clearing of residential streets is determined by weather conditions and forecasts. Generally, an accumulation above two inches (2”) involves salting and plowing, and less accumulation involves salting only.

Snow and Ice Control Policy Plan

Preparation for a major snow or weather event includes the following:

  • GPS technology for accuracy, as well as the optimization of snow and ice control routing citywide
  • Additional seasonal drivers and radio operators across three (3) shifts, operating over a 24-hour cycle
  • Over 22,000 tons of salt and, 23,000 gallons of liquid de-icer 
  • Abrasion-resistant rubber-ceramic plow blades that help reduce damage to roadways and the need for plow blade changes

There are three (3) phases involved in the City’s snow response:

  1. Pre-treatment with salt or a salt and de-icing mix, depending on conditions 6 to 8 hours prior to temperatures falling below freezing
  2. Monitoring conditions and mobilizing seasonal drivers to commence plowing when snow accumulations reach two inches (2”)
  3. Continuously plowing until the snow stops, starting with main and secondary streets first, followed by residential streets to ensure high-traffic streets are passable

*The City is responsible for clearing main, secondary, and residential streets. ODOT is responsible for the interstates. Home and business owners are responsible for clearing snow, sleet, and ice from sidewalks.

Motorist Tips for Cleveland Winters

  • Obey parking regulations on streets with “Snow Ban” signs
  • Slow down! Slick pavement reduces traction and can mean loss of control
  • Increase following distance, use headlights, and wear seatbelts
  • Apply anti-lock brakes (ABS) fully. Do not “pump” brakes unless driving an older vehicle not equipped with ABS.
  • Use caution near snow- clearing equipment, staying at least 50 feet away to reduce the risk of accidents
  • Allow for snow removal equipment’s wide turns at intersections
  • Winterize vehicles: check brakes, tires, wiper fluid, and wiper blades
  • Equip vehicles with blankets, jumper cables, a flashlight (with fresh batteries), a scraper, cloth or paper towels, warning devices, and non-perishable foods
  • Pay attention to weather advisories and leave earlier than usual
  • Plan routes to avoid steep hills and travel main streets when possible
  • Avoid isolated areas during storms