Snow Removal Guidelines

The City will commit its resources and personnel to address snow removal from the beginning of snowfall until all City roadways are cleared.

The City of Bowling Green Public Works Division is responsible for clearing snow and ice from City streets, alleys, municipal parking lots and buildings.  The City is prepared to respond to winter weather conditions and will work quickly to clear the roadways.  The application of salt and/or brine is used to minimize icy roadways and assist in melting the snow.

City operated plow trucks will push snow out of the roadway as soon as snowfall begins.  The first priority for plowing is given to the City’s main arterial streets.  Once the storm abates and conditions improve, the snowplows widen all streets by moving the accumulated snow to the curb line and clearing intersections.

Click here to review the Snow Removal Brochure

Snow street sign.
Photo of City’s Snow Street Sign.

Snow Streets & Snow Emergencies:

Snow Streets are designated throughout the City.  Designated snow streets are marked with blue and white signs.  Any vehicle parked on a snow street must be removed within two hours after a Snow Emergency is declared.  Snow Emergencies are typically called for when the City receives 2 inches (or more) of snow.  Vehicles parked in violation of snow regulations are subject to towing at the owner’s expense and/or a citation.

If a Snow Emergency is Declared from 7 AM – 9 PM:
Vehicles parked on a snow street must be removed within 2 hours after declaration.

If a Snow Emergency is Declared from 9 PM – 7 AM:
Vehicles parked on a snow street must be removed by 9 AM.

Snow Street Regulations and Street Listing 2020 Legal Notice-Snow Regulations

Snow Emergency Notification:

When a snow emergency is declared, notification is sent out many different ways.  Residents should monitor the local news and news papers and are encouraged to sign up for:

  1. eNews – email notification is sent through the City’s weekly eNews distribution list.  Sign-up is free and easy – simply put your email in the sign-up window on the right side of the homepage.
  2. Text Alerts – Sign up for CodeRED alerts
  3. Social Media – follow the City’s Facebook page (@cityofbg); follow the City on Twitter (@cityofbg); follow the Snow Emergency Twitter account (@bgsnowemergency).  When a snow emergency is declared, notification will be posted to all platforms.

On Street Parking:

Even if your street is not listed as a Snow Street, parking your vehicle off the street allows for a more efficient plowing process, helping crews remove the snow from the entire street curb to curb. This is especially important when the City is receiving many snow storms in succession.

Plowing snow to the middle of major streets

At times, snow may be plowed to the middle of some of the wider major streets to prevent the buildup of snow along curbs, sidewalks and parking areas especially near downtown. This is especially important if several storms occur in quick succession. The City will haul out this snow as soon as possible.

Cul-de-sac plowing

Due to the scientific principle of Centrifugal Force, snow cannot be plowed to the center of the Cul-de-sac even when the blade is turned to the inside of the cul-de-sac. During heavy snow events, crews may return later after the initial passes to address the cul-de-sac with loader type equipment as needed.

Snow Removal by Citizens and Contractors:

All property owners are required to clear snow and ice from sidewalks abutting their premises within 24 Hours after the abatement of any storm during which snow and ice have accumulated.

Failure to clear sidewalks may result in a civil infraction citation or a criminal citation for a minor misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of $150 per violation.  The City may also have its contractor clear the sidewalk and bill all incurred costs to the property owner.

Citizens and plowing contractors should NOT shovel, plow, or blow snow onto or across the City street.  This delays the process of clearing the streets and is prohibited under City Ordinance 98.22 and Ohio Revised Code 4511.74.

Mailboxes and Snow Removal:

Mailbox Preparedness Check:  Late each Fall, the City of Bowling Green reminds residents to check their mailbox alongside the roadway to ensure it will be sturdy enough to handle winter weather and roadway snow removal operations.  Check the mailbox for rotten or leaning posts, cracked sections or general overall poor condition that needs attention.  This will help the mailbox withstand snow or ice being removed from the roadway.

If a properly positioned mailbox, (usually 6-8″ behind the face of curb or edge of pavement) meeting United States Postal Service requirements, is struck by City snow removal equipment due to non-weather related causes, the City will either repair or replace the mailbox. The City shall not pay more than a maximum rate for a replacement. The City reserves the right to make a determination on a case by case basis.

The City is not responsible for damage to mailboxes located in the City right of way which are damaged as a result of snow and/or ice or any other object dispersed from the snow plow blade during street clearing of snow by City crews.

Mailboxes should not overhang any curb nor pavement surfaces used as part of the travel lanes.

If a mailbox is improperly positioned as per United States Postal Service requirements and/or overhanging the curb or edge of pavement and is struck by the City plow, the city is not responsible for damage.

It is the responsibility of the property owners of each mailbox to remove snow/ice to ensure mail delivery.

Please visit the United States Postal Service website for more information on the mailbox installation and maintenance guidelines.

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Winter Snow & Ice Removal – Help Protect Your Water Supply:

Not all approaches to snow removal are stormwater friendly. Deicing products can have negative environmental impacts when melted snow and ice carry runoff into our ditches, streams,
and rivers.  Overuse of certain products, such as salts, can also damage driveways, sidewalks, vehicles, and vegetation and can be a hazard to pets.

What Can You Do?

  • Shovel early in the day.  The sun will warm the surface and help melt new snow, preventing the need for deicers.
  • Shovel often so snow does not become compacted and turn to ice.
  • Shovel or plow your driveway and sidewalks before spreading deicer.
  • Shovel before you drive a vehicle on the driveway to reduce packing snow.
  • Limit the use of deicers, especially those with the most negative impacts.
  • Use deicers sparingly.  You can always reapply if you used too little.
  • Check the label before applying.  Many deicers will not work in extremely low temperatures.
  • Use sand sparingly. Sand will not melt snow or ice, but will increase traction.  Sweep up excess sand to avoid adding sediment to nearby waterways.

Are some deicers better than others?  It is difficult to find a deicing product that does not contain at least one controversial ingredient. Be sure to read the label.  Use products that contain little, or no, sodium chloride.  Look for products labeled “pet friendly”. These deicers are typically more environmentally friendly than others. The best approach to protecting the environment is to minimize the use of deicers.  Consider the tips above to maintain safe surfaces, while also protecting our local waterways.

Winter Snow and Ice Removal Stormwater Flyer