Preparing for the Storm
As a normal part of snow preparation, Department of Sanitation (DSNY) conducts snow drills during the year. Before a snow event, DSNY vehicles may be placed in strategic locations. Complaints are not accepted for these vehicles being parked before the start of a snow event or during snow drills.
Plowing and Spreading
During a snow operation, DSNY uses salt spreaders or plows to treat icy or snowy conditions on streets and highways. The equipment used depends on the location and condition of the roadway.
Snow is plowed to the right side of the street because the same trucks must plow both one-way and two-way streets. Once the plows are mounted on trucks they can’t be shifted from one direction to the other.
While piling and hauling snow on a roadway, the vehicles may need to block traffic temporarily.
DSNY doesn’t clear:
- Cars, sidewalks, or driveways, even if the obstruction was caused by a City plow
- Alleys, parking lots (with the exception of City-owned lots), and private streets
Scattering and Breaking Piles
When temperatures are above freezing and expected to stay above freezing for a period of time, DSNY workers may shovel snow into the street to break down piles of snow to encourage melting. Sanitation equipment is used to break the snow down further so it is not a driving hazard.
Property owners may not shovel snow into the street. If a Sanitation supervisor witnesses snow being shoveled into the street, you may receive a summons.
Shoveling Pedestrian Features
About 72 hours after streets have been cleared, temporary snow laborers help clear streets next to bus stops, and pedestrian features, such as crosswalks. This effort takes time because it requires manual labor. There is no guarantee that every pedestrian feature will be cleared.