Snow and Ice

Winter 2014

Use this guide as a resource for snow-related topics.

News Releases

Latest Progress

Snow Map

The interactive snow operations map shows the locations of city plow trucks and traffic camera images.

View the Snow Map »
View all Traffic Cameras »

Reviewing the Plan

The Street Maintenance Division conducts a practice of the snow removal plan annually. Employees from the Street Maintenance Division inspect equipment, locate required gear, and travel assigned routes streets.

spreading routes map

Spreading Routes Map (PDF, 677 KB)

Ready for Snow and Ice

Readying the Plan

Routes follow a priority order from most traveled to least traveled streets. In general, winter operations progress from:

  1. Arterials, high-capacity areas of travel such as Iowa Street or 6th Street
  2. Collectors, low, to moderate-capacity streets that move traffic from local streets to arterials, such as Tennessee Street or Lawrence Avenue
  3. Areas around schools
  4. Local streets, such as residential streets and cul-de-sacs

The snow removal and ice control plan allows for 24-hour operations when necessary.

For more information, please contact the Street Maintenance Division, (785) 832-3021. This phone line is not answered 24 hours a day but is manned during full snow operations.

How We Clear Snow and Ice

Snow plowing operations are generally not effective if there is less than a three-inch accumulation of snow. Crews follow the same routes for spreading sand and salt for icy conditions and small accumulations of snow.

snow plow routes map

Snow Plow Routes Map (PDF, 578 KB)

Snow plowing: Parked cars and driveways

When snow accumulations reach three inches deep, crews will begin to plow around cars that are left parked on the street. Persons should move them off the street prior to plowing operations or they will be responsible for digging them out.

A windrow of snow is left at the curb when city crews plow snow. Residents and businesses who need access to those drives will be responsible for removing the windrow after crews have plowed the street.

For more information, please contact the Street Maintenance Division, (785) 832-3021. This phone line is not answered 24 hours a day but is manned during full snow operations.

Citizen responsibilities

Lawrence citizens should familarize themselves with the snow and ice removal ordinance.

To make public sidewalks safe for pedestrians, the owner or occupant of property immediately adjacent to a public sidewalk is responsible for removal of any snow or ice accumulation on the sidewalk. Removal must be done within 48 hours after the ice forms or the snowfall ends.

If removal of ice is impossible, the property owner or occupant is required to place sand on the sidewalk within 48 hours.

If a property owner fails to comply with the ordinance and the Development Services Division receives a complaint, a citation will be written. Property owners will be fined $20 for each day the violation occurs, plus court costs if found guilty.

Related: Please see the Safe Winter Walkways program for assistance options.

During snow events, residents can greatly improve crews’ ability to remove snow by not parking on certain roadways. If you live in an area highlighted in orange on this map (PDF, 278 KB), please consider moving your car off of the roadway to allow snow plows to pass easily. This is not a mandatory step; just a request to make the process go smoother.

snowy gazebo

Be a good neighbor

Residents are responsible for the snow removal in driveways and maintenance of sidewalks adjacent to their properties. Think about neighbors and friends who do not have the ability to shovel snow from their own walks and drives. Let neighbors know ahead of time if you are willing to help. And remember, snow plows will create a blockage even after the drive has been cleaned.

Related: Get the Facts: Snow Removal Ordinance - Who is responsible for clearing sidewalks, streets and more

Trash services during snow and ice removal operations

City crews will operate normal residential and commercial trash services as conditions allow. If conditions become too hazardous to crews and equipment, operations will be suspended until the following day. In commercial areas and parking lots, owners need to remember not to block enclosures when having the lots plowed, or crews will not be able to empty containers.

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