After the unusually harsh winter of 2013-14, the City evaluated how to improve conditions during winter weather events to make the City easily passable by car or bike, and on foot.
With more than 300 miles of streets and sidewalks to clear, winter presents unique challenges in a densely populated city like ours. We ask that you join us in efforts to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our snow-clearing operations.
Here is an overview of snow-clearing operations and policies. For more detailed information, please visit the Snow Policies FAQ.
The City enacted a Parking Ban effective November 27, 2014 on residential streets when snow exceeds two inches. The law enables plows to clear snow from the streets so that cars and emergency vehicles can move through the City safely and efficiently.
City ordinance (Ordinance 743.01) requires residents to clear sidewalks, including corner property curb ramps, of snow, ice, and slush by 9 am the day after a snowfall. If snow on the sidewalks reaches at least six inches, the City will plow after streets are cleared and when crews are available.
Fire Hydrants vs. Snow
During winter months when the snow and ice piles high, Shaker’s 1,500 fire hydrants often are buried.
If you are able, please clear snow from around hydrants and avoid shoveling snow on top of them so that fire crews can quickly gain access during an emergency.
However, if fire hydrants are buried in snow and you are unable to dig them out, don’t worry! The Shaker Heights Fire Department has detailed maps indicating the specific locations of all hydrants. In the event of a fire where a hydrant is not immediately accessible, each truck is equipped with 700 gallons of water – enough to fight a fire for approximately 10 minutes – while crews simultaneously dig out the closest hydrant.
Private Snow Plow Operators
Homeowners are responsible for clearing their own driveways. Snow removal contractors must be registered with the Police Department, display a permit and adhere to guidelines about where snow may be deposited. View a list of registered snow plow operators.
Snow plow operators should bring a completed application to the Police Department to register.
(See FAQ: What are the restrictions where snow can be deposited by shovel, snowblower or snow plow?) If you see a contractor violating the snow removal rules, call 216-491-3292.
City street plowing will result in some snow pushed onto driveway aprons, which homeowners need to clear.
Public Snow Plowing
The City is responsible for keeping more than 100 miles of roadway cleared of snow. Roads are plowed in this order of priority: main streets, streets around the schools, side streets.
Sensible Salting Practices
Along with other communities, the City uses Sensible Salting Practices to minimize damage to roads and to the environment, and to save overtime and salt costs. A combination of sensible salting and frequent plowing keeps roads safe and passable. Sensible salting means:
- No salt is used between midnight and 4 am
- Only key areas and intersections are salted during heavy snow events
- Limited use of salt on secondary and side roads
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