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Snow Removal

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Snow Removal

Keeping roads, sidewalks and parking lots clear of snow is a cooperative effort. Thank you for your help in keeping Evanston safe for all residents.

How Does the City Handle Snow?


The City begins preparing for snow long before the first flakes hit the ground. When weather conditions are appropriate, Public Works crews apply anti-icing liquid to all major snow routes and near schools approximately eight hours before forecasted snow.

The liquid is an earth-friendly mixture of salt brine and organic “beet juice” and calcium chloride. When used as a deicer, it helps loosen the bond of snow and ice to the pavement, makes plowing easier, and reduces the City’s granular salt usage.

As snow falls, Public Works crews clear snow routes and residential streets simultaneously. After all the snow has fallen, it takes approximately four hours to clear all snow routes curb to curb, and eight hours before all residential streets are cleared.

Mounds of snow at the curb caused by City plows are unavoidable. Please understand that work crews cannot stop to clear driveways as this occurs.

View the City's Snow & Ice Removal Control Program and Operations Manual >>>

How Can You Help?



Drivers are reminded to give snow plows enough room to do their jobs safely:

  • Don’t follow too closely behind the plow;
  • Don’t pass a snow plow on the right;
  • Slow down!

Visibility may be reduced due to blowing snow caused by plowing.


Residents can help facilitate snow removal by abiding by posted parking restrictions and parking as close to the curb as possible, clear of alleyways and intersections, so City trucks and emergency vehicles have access. Snow parking regulations are in effect until the time indicated on the sign. Please note that it is illegal to park on the street during the restricted time even if the plows have been through, as plowing and salting operations may require return visits by City trucks. More on snow parking restrictions and notifications >>>

Whenever snow is present on roadways, voluntarily abiding by posted even/odd parking rules helps Public Works plows clear snow to the curb. Thank you for your assistance.


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Property owners are responsible for clearing sidewalks adjacent to their property within 24 hours after a snowfall of 4 inches or more. Landlords are responsible for keeping sidewalks, parking lots and all common areas, including open stairwells, free from all hazardous conditions at all times. To report a snow removal violation, please call/text 847-448-4311.

When shoveling a sidewalk, please clear a path that is at least 36 inches wide to allow everyone, including children, people with disabilities and the elderly, to travel freely using the sidewalks instead of the streets. If you need assistance shoveling, or would like to volunteer to help elderly and disabled neighbors with shoveling, sign up for the City's Volunteer Snow Shoveling Program.

Although the City does not plow alleys, refuse and recycling collections continue. Residents are encouraged to clear snow to allow crews to access refuse containers. In addition, residents' efforts to clear snow from fire hydrants are much appreciated. Ensuring that fire hydrants are visible and accessible from the street can save precious time in an emergency. Thank you for your help and cooperation.

Residents who would like to have their alley plowed are encouraged to talk with neighbors about sharing the cost of one of the many private plowing companies.

See the City Code section addressing snow removal requirements.