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When it snows, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) launches a snow operation. They spread streets with salt and plow to create a passable driving lane. Blacktop isn't always visible after plowing.

What You Can Report

  • Snowy and icy streets and highways for tracking purposes only when DSNY’s snow operation is in progress
  • Streets and highways that need to be salted or plowed again after DSNY’s snow operation ends
  • Icy patches on streets and highways caused by a non-storm condition

Call 311 to report a patch of ice on the roadway caused by a non-storm condition.

What You Can’t Report

  • Snowy or icy alleys, private streets, or private parking lots
  • Snow blocking automobiles, sidewalks, or driveways, even if they were blocked by City plows
  • DSNY workers throwing snow into the street
  • DSNY vehicles parking during a snow drill, before the start of a snow event, or blocking traffic during snow operations

The City hires emergency snow laborers to help clear snow from streets in front of bus stops once all streets have been cleared. You must wait until 72 hours after the streets have been cleared to make a complaint. This effort takes time because it requires manual labor. There's no guarantee that every bus stop will be cleared.

The City hires emergency snow laborers to help clear snow from crosswalks along major commercial streets once all streets have been cleared. You must wait until 72 hours after the streets have been cleared to make a complaint. This effort takes time because it requires manual labor. There is no guarantee that every crosswalk will be cleared.

The City hires emergency snow laborers to help clear snow from overpasses and underpasses once all streets have been cleared. You must wait until 72 hours after the streets have been cleared to make a complaint. This effort takes time because it requires manual labor. There is no guarantee that every overpass or underpass will be cleared.

The City hires emergency snow laborers to help clear snow from medians once all streets have been cleared. You must wait until 72 hours after the streets have been cleared to make a complaint. This effort takes time because it requires manual labor. There is no guarantee that every median will be cleared.

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.

Snow on 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.

Snow Emergencies are declared by the Department of Transportation. They are designated by special red and white signs.

During a snow emergency:

  • You can’t park on any street with a Snow Emergency Route sign.
  • You can’t drive on a Snow Emergency Route street or highway unless your vehicle has snow chains or tires.

PlowNYC Tracker

PlowNYC lets you track the progress of DSNY’s snow clearing operations throughout the five boroughs. You can also find out whether your street has been visited by a plow or spreader.

Visit PlowNYC.

NYC Severe Weather Crowdmap

When it's snowing, you can share photos, videos, commentary, or map points with other New Yorkers online on the NYC Severe Weather Crowdmap. Please note that the information you provide on the report form can be seen by everyone. The City reviews and will post all appropriate submissions.

View and share information on the NYC Severe Weather Crowdmap.