Snow Removal Information
On November 9, 2015 the City Council passed Ordinance No. 2015-54 which changes some of the regulations regarding resident and business responsibilities for snow removal in Takoma Park. More information is available on this page.
Snow Response 101
Takoma Park’s Public Works Department staff work hard during the winter to clear snow from 34 miles of City maintained roads as well as walkways and sidewalks around City parks and public buildings. Staff track potential storms and prepare to respond as soon as snow starts to fall. Plow crews start operations when one inch of snow is on the ground and are prepared to work 12 hour shifts.
Public Works Right of Way staff serve as the first shift of plow drivers. Sanitation drivers provide the second shift. When significant snowfall occurs trash and recycling collection may be canceled to enable the sanitation drivers to assist with road clearing. Gardening staff provide clearing of public sidewalks during daylight hours and are assisted as needed by temporary laborers.
The Public Works Department has a winter weather response plan which divides the City into five snow removal zones with each zone having an assigned response vehicle. Within each zone the streets are identified as primary or secondary streets. Primary streets are those that have most traffic and connect neighborhoods. Secondary streets are shorter with fewer homes and may include courts, alleys or dead ends. Crews first clear primary streets and then proceed to the secondary streets.
The map below delineates the boundary of each snow zone and highlights the secondary streets in yellow.
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Snow Removal Responsibilities for Residents & Businesses
The City recently changed some of its regulations regarding snow removal. Residents now have until noon after a night of snowfall, and until 9:00 PM after a day of snowfall, to remove snow and ice from their sidewalks. Businesses will need to keep their sidewalks clear between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
The full width of your sidewalk must be clear unless full-width clearing is not feasible, in which case at a minimum a continuous three-foot wide path of the paved sidewalk must be cleared. Lastly, to protect our sidewalks and trees, the use of rock salt is strictly prohibited on sidewalks or within 10 feet of any trees.
Failure to comply with snow removal regulations can result in penalties.
- $25 First violation, residential or non-commercial properties.
- $50 Second violation, residential or noncommercial properties.
- $200 Third violation within 6 months of any previous violation, residential or noncommercial properties.
- $200 Any violation on or adjoining commercial property.
For properties not in compliance with this policy, contact Code Enforcement via the My TKPK system.
Snow Removal Tips
- Keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice by regularly shoveling accumulated snow during and after a snow event.
- Do not shovel large amounts of snow into the street when clearing your driveway or sidewalk. Piles of snow shoveled out into the street can cause problems for passing vehicles.
- The best place to pile snow is on a lawn or other grassy areas.
Snow Removal Utility Contact Information
WSSC (Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission)
Call 911 for sparking wires, especially those across roadways.
For downed trees on public property, Takoma Park residents should cal the Takoma Park Police Department’s non-emergency number: 301-270-1100. To report trees that have fallen on utility lines, contact Pepco.
Trees that have fallen on private property are the responsibility of the property owner.
City of Takoma Park Snow Zones
Helpful Snow Event Tips
The Public Works Department and the Takoma Park Police Department has developed a few helpful tips for residents to follow during a snow event.
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Parking During a Declared Snow Emergency
The following restrictions go into effect during a declared snow emergency:
- Residents are strongly encouraged to park vehicles in their driveways if possible. Fewer cars on the street make it easier for crews to clear the roads quickly and safely.
- If you must park on the street make park your car as close to the curb as possible. Maintain a distance of at least 25 feet from intersections.
View the Snow Removal Responsibilities for Residents & Businesses section above for more info.
Be a Good Neighbor & Help Others in Need
Reach out and ask neighbors if they need assistance with keeping their sidewalk clear. Many residents are physically unable to shovel snow and ice and are hesitant to request help from neighbors or friends.
Snow & Ice Response Plan Goals
Takoma Park’s snow and ice response plan goal is to have two accesible lanes on each primary street within a 12- hour shift if the snow fall is six inches or less.
If snow fall is six inches or more, the expectation is to have one accesible lane over a 12 hour period. Snow removal equipment remains in service around the clock until all roads are cleared.
Often when severe weather is on the way the City prepares by applying a sand/salt mixture or liquid de-icing chemicals to street surfaces. Plowing begins once snowfall has accumulated to an inch on the street. If the storm produces only sleet and ice, the City treats roadways with sand and salt.
Snow and ice response on some streets located within Takoma Park is performed by other organizations. The State Highway Administration is responsible for clearing:
- Carroll Avenue
- Ethan Allen Avenue
- New Hampshire Avenue
- Philadelphia Avenue
- Piney Branch Road
Sligo Creek Parkway is a Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission roadway and snow and ice response is performed by Montgomery County. City plows will assist with snow removal on these streets in the course of their work to clear City streets.
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Inclement Weather Line
Bad weather? Call the The Recreation Department’s Inclement Weather Line to check for weather closure information.
Call 301-891-7101 ext. 5605 to check for program cancellations due to weather.Call The Inclement Weather Line