FAQs - Snow & Ice Control

Q. Why doesn’t the city plow residential streets after every storm? 
A. City policy is that residential streets are only plowed after a storm leaving more than 10 inches of undrifted snow depth and only after the primary and secondary routes are completely cleared. The only residential streets that you may see plowed are those in front of schools.

Q. Why do the plows cover over the areas I just shoveled? Am I responsible for those areas? 
A. When snow plowing takes place, snow is not removed but rather pushed to the right side of the road. Snowplow drivers will make every effort to avoid plowing snow onto sidewalks or driveways. However, there may be times that this cannot be avoided and sidewalks or driveways may become blocked.

Residents’ responsibilities are outlined in the City Code 70-18 and include removal of all snow or ice from the sidewalks within 24 hours of the end of a storm.

Q. My neighbors never clear their sidewalk. What can I do? 
A. Residents are required by City Code to clear their sidewalk within 24 hours of the end of a storm. If you are concerned about uncleared sidewalks, you can contact Code Enforcement at 303-661-1268 or submit an online form located at http://cityoflafayette.com/requesttracker.aspx .

Q. Who is responsible for clearing city-owned sidewalks? 
A. Sidewalks that are owned by the city will be cleared by the Parks Department. They can be reached at 303-661-1306 or you may submit an online form located at http://cityoflafayette.com/requesttracker.aspx to report a problem.

Q. What material does the city use for de-icing the streets? 
A. The city uses an "ice slicer" product on the roads. Sand is not used on the roads due to the high cost and substantial environmental impact.

Q. There is a lot of ice buildup on the curb and gutters, and is not draining properly. Will the city do something?
A. At the end of the storm and after all plowing operations have ceased, the city will systematically begin to examine storm drains and crosspans to determine if they need to be cleared.

Q. There is a lot of ice buildup on the shaded area of the streets and sidewalks which are caused by houses, trees and fences. Will the City plow these areas? 
A. It is very difficult to remove this ice buildup without damage to concrete and asphalt. This ice will not melt until the temperature is above freezing for an extended period of time. If the ice is on a sidewalk adjacent to private property, then it is the property owner's responsibility to remove it.

In extreme situations, the Public Works staff may apply a coat of "ice slicer" and let nature take its course. This decision is made on a case-by-case basis.

Q. Why is only the center of the street plowed on residential streets? 
A. Residential streets will only be plowed in the event of a major snowstorm. When conditions warrant, residential streets will be plowed to give residents access to the secondary and primary roads.

Plowing residential streets repeatedly to expose cleared asphalt after vehicles have compacted the snow is not practical or economically feasible. When plowing down the middle of residential streets to remove any excess snow, piles of snow called “windrows” are often created that can block private driveways. Clearing the snow from driveways is the responsibility of the property owners.

Q. I saw a city snowplow driving around during the storm with its blade up. Why wasn’t it plowing? 
A. It is the goal of the city to plow streets systematically based on traffic volume. When snowplows are moving from one location to another, or returning to refuel or have more de-icing material loaded on the truck, they travel with their plow blades up. Once the "ice slicer" product in applied, we do not plow so the product has time to melt the ice & snow.

Q. The Post Office has told me they will not deliver mail because of the snow in front of the mailboxes. What will the city do? 
A. Cluster mailboxes are plowed only if they are on the primary or secondary snow routes. However, the sidewalks in front of cluster mailboxes are the responsibility of either the homeowners associations or the property owners adjacent to the boxes. The clearing of sidewalks around mailboxes at individual resident properties is the responsibility of the property owner.