Salt Lake City Snow Removal
The Salt Lake City Snow Fighter crew strives to provide a safe, reliable, and efficient travel network for all modes of transportation. City crews clear snow from over 1,850 lane miles of City-owned roadways, 36 blocks of protected bike lanes (and growing), 7.8 miles of sidewalks located near freeway viaducts, and many other locations. The team consists of 45 large plow trucks and 90 Streets Division employees who work on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to resolve snow and ice events within 36 hours after the end of a storm.
Outside of regular service hours, the Streets Response Team is responsible for monitoring road conditions during the beginning of a storm and immediately salting and plowing high priority areas like hospital routes. Please call the Streets Division at 801-535-2345 to report snow issues after our regular service hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
How Snow Removal Is Prioritized
The City has three designated priorities for how roads are cleared – Priority 1 emergency routes, Priority 2 high traffic streets, and Priority 3 residential routes. Learn more about what these priorities are by viewing our Snow Removal Priority Map. The City designates protected bike lanes at Priority 1 and painted bike lanes at the same priority as the road on which the bike lane is painted. Our snow removal equipment for protected bike lanes is not operated at night, so crews will be sent out to these locations as soon as possible in the morning. City crews also clear snow from 7.8 miles of sidewalks located adjacent viaducts and overpasses on I-15, I-215, I-80, and other designated locations. Snow removal operations on these sidewalks begin within 24 hours after the end of the storm.
The Salt Lake City Streets Division continuously works with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) to perform snow and ice control on state roads within Salt Lake City. Learn about snow removal on state roads here on the UDOT website.
Please read the Tips and FAQ below for additional information.
Snow Removal Tips for Residents and Business Owners
Get your supplies ready! Whether this includes de-icing materials, a snow blower, or just a good old-fashioned shovel, be sure these are easily accessible before it snows.
Use de-icing compounds to remove ice from steps, walkways and sidewalks. Magnesium chloride is considered the least toxic deicing salt because it contains less chloride than either rock salt or calcium chloride, making it safer for plants and animals. Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) is considered the best overall choice for safely melting ice. It is less toxic than deicers containing chloride, but can cost considerably more than rock salt.
Sand placed on walkways may also help prevent slipping.
Dress Warmly and Shovel Smart
Dress warmly, and if possible, push snow in front of you. If you have to lift it, pick up small amounts and lift with your legs, not your back. Do not toss snow over your shoulder or to the side. Do not shovel, blow or plow snow back into the streets.
If you have questions, check out our FAQ below.
Snow Removal FAQ for Residents and Business Owners
How quickly will the City plow streets when it snows?
Our crews work hard to remove snow and ice within 36 hours after the end of a storm. Click here to see where our snow plows are at in real time with our live snow plow tracking map. This map is only active during snow storms.
How does the City prioritize plowing streets?
The City prioritizes streets in three categories: Priority 1 emergency routes, Priority 2 high traffic streets, and Priority 3 residential routes. If there is additional snowfall before they have worked through the priority list, they must start again with Priority 1 streets to ensure that emergency routes to hospitals, fire stations, and police stations are clear. Learn more about the City’s priority routes by viewing our snow removal priority map.
What is my responsibility as a property owner, occupant, lessor, business owner, or agent of property?
Property owners are required to clear snow and ice from city sidewalks adjacent to all sides of their property. Make a minimum 42 inch wide path (or the full width of the sidewalk if narrower than 42 inches) for the full length of the sidewalk including from corners and curb ramps within twenty-four (24) hours after the end of the storm (City Code 14.20.070). A 42 inch wide path is roughly 2.5 times the width of a standard snow shovel. Ice must be removed to bare pavement, or made as level as possible and treated with ice melt, sand, or similar material. Do not move snow into the street or onto other sidewalks (City Code 14.20.080). Please remove snow from fire hydrants, benches, and vehicles.
If you have questions about your snow removal responsibilities as a business owner you can reach out to Will Wright at William.Wright@slcgov.com.
Learn more about sidewalk snow removal here on our Building Services page.
Learn more by reading the full Ordinance about snow removal.
After it snows, how quickly do I need to shovel the sidewalks around my property?
Snow must be removed within twenty-four (24) hours after the end of a snow storm (City Code 14.20.070).
Can my business shovel snow into the ADA accessible parking stalls or access aisles?
No. That prevents access to your business and is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Who enforces the City snow removal ordinance?
Salt Lake City Civil Enforcement enforces the ordinance. Each property will receive one warning per winter season. Fines range from $50 – $200 depending on the size of the property and the duration the sidewalks have been left uncleared after the storm. Call (801) 535-7225 to report a violation.
Where else does the City clear snow?
Snow is removed at parks, public buildings, recreational facilities, and the City Cemetery which amount to 47 miles of sidewalks and trails, 31 acres of parking lots, and 9 miles of roads in the City Cemetery. The City also removes snow from corners and crosswalks in the Central and Sugar House Business Districts.
What about bus stops?
A message from the Utah Transit Authority (UTA): UTA prioritizes snow removal efforts to ensure that our modest staff are able to keep the UTA transit system moving. We make every effort to prepare our stops in advance of storm arrival. Once the snowstorm does arrive, our first priority is to keep our operations system working by clearing the way for our trains and buses to get to the garage or rail yard, as well as UTA facilities that support bus and train operations. We then focus our snow removal efforts on high traffic areas such as TRAX and FrontRunner stations, bus intermodal hubs, bus rapid transit (BRT) stops, and park-and-ride lots. Snow removal at these locations may require several passes. Once snow is completely removed from these locations, and to ensure that customers with disabilities are able to access UTA bus serves, we then turn our efforts to removing snow at bus stops where accessibility is a high priority. A priority list for bus stops will be developed annually based on customer requests for snow removal. To let UTA know about a facility where snow removal requires our attention, please contact UTA’s Customer Service department at (801) 743-3882.
There is an Adopt a Stop program where adopters pledge to clear snow from designated bus stops but currently no other established programs to clear bus stops. You can Adopt A Stop by emailing email@example.com! If there is a bus stop close to your business you can Adopt a Stop so your patrons can have access to the stop and your business.
What about snow removal in the business districts?
Salt Lake City Facilities only clears crossings and corners in the downtown Central Business District and Sugar House Business District. It is the property owner’s responsibility to clear sidewalks.
Learn more by reading the full Ordinance about snow removal.
Why is it my responsibility to shovel the sidewalk?
Salt Lake City does not have the funding or staff resources to shovel all public sidewalks after a snowstorm due to their work clearing emergency routes and public streets.
How can I get help shoveling my sidewalk?
People who are elderly or people with disabilities may need assistance removing snow from adjacent sidewalks. Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services has a program that offers assistance with snow removal and many other services. Visit the Aging and Adult Services website here or call (385) 468-3200. Salt Lake City Government encourages residents to be aware of neighbors who may need help with snow removal! Reach out and provide a helping hand if you can.
How can I stay informed about when and how to prepare for snow?
You can follow the City on Facebook (@SLCgovernment) or Twitter (@SLCgov) for reminders to prepare for snowstorms and take action after snowfall.
I live outside of Salt Lake City. Where can I find information about snow removal where I live?
Learn about Salt Lake County’s snow removal program here.
Learn about snow removal on state roads here on the UDOT website.
Do you have any fun facts about the snow program?
Of course we do! The snow fleet consists of 45 large plow trucks, multiple UTVs outfitted with plow blades and salt spreaders, snow blowers, shovels, and other equipment. This equipment is used to spread 16,000 to 20,000 tons of salt in an average snow season—that’s the weight of 3,000 elephants! On average, City plows drive a total of 80,000 miles—equivalent of driving the circumference of the earth 3.2 times. And in Salt Lake City, snow is plowed from a total of 1,858 lane miles of public roads which is enough asphalt and concrete to reach to St. George and back 3 times.
How can I sign up to volunteer to help clear snow?
Coming soon, stay tuned!
Driving, Parking, Cycling, and Other Tips for Winter in Salt Lake City
Be alert and drive with caution – winter storms create slick road conditions. Maintain larger following distances between vehicles and slow down to allow for additional time to stop. Plan your daily trips before the storm when snow is in the forecast. The less traffic on the road, the faster our crews can work. Never pull out in front of or attempt to pass a snow plow. Stay at least 200 feet away from plows at all times and never tailgate a plow. If you can’t see the mirrors on the truck, they can’t see you.
Park vehicles off the street during and for up to 36 hours after a storm if possible. Ordinance 12.56.520 states that you must move your vehicle every 48 hours from where it is parked. If you must park on the street, do not park directly opposite another vehicle on the other side of the street to avoid creating a bottle neck. Park as close to the curb as possible.
Beware when walking or cycling as the snow coming off a plow blade can be dangerous. Don’t allow children to play on or near the street when snow plowing is in progress.
Please offer to help your neighbors with snow removal. Seniors or people with disabilities may need assistance meeting their obligation as property owners to remove snow from adjacent sidewalks.
Visit the Salt Lake City Transportation Division’s webpage here for tips about bicycle commuting in the winter.
Watch a short video about the history of snow removal in Salt Lake City!