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Snow & Ice Frequently Asked Questions

When will my street get salted or plowed?

There are 7,000 lane miles of streets in the City of Milwaukee. The Department prioritizes salting and plowing of streets based on traffic volume, public transit routes, access to emergency services and schools. A salting operation takes about 8 hours for the entire city. It takes from 18 – 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling for crews to plow all City streets.

Why do you pile snow in my driveway?

Snow plows make four to six passes down a street to clear it curb to curb. It is best to wait, if possible, until we’ve finished plowing before shoveling your corner or driveway approach. It also helps if you pile snow to the right side of your driveway when facing the street. It will minimize the amount of snow pushed back into the driveway approach by a plow.

Can I snow blow or shovel into the street?

City ordinance prohibits shoveling, plowing or blowing snow from private property into the street.

Why doesn't the City plow alleys?

The City of Milwaukee does not plow alleys but does open up the approaches to alleys following significant snowfalls. There are several reasons why the city does not plow alleys including costs, availability of personnel and equipment, and the fact that alleys are primarily service drives to adjacent properties. They are not public right of ways in the same sense that streets and sidewalks are.

Who Clears State and County Roads?

The Milwaukee County Department of Public Works is responsible for snow and ice control on the Milwaukee area freeway system. The County also maintains several state highways that run through the City.

When are sidewalks cleared?

Property owners are responsible for clearing snow from public sidewalks within 24 hours after the snow stops falling. This includes the corner crosswalk area for property owners with corner lots or those whose property abuts a mid-block crosswalk.

The City of Milwaukee is responsible for clearing crosswalks of excessive amounts of snow due to plowing. Because the crews who drive plows also operate equipment used to clear crosswalks and bus stops, these operations begin after street plowing is complete.

When will garbage and recycling be collected after a snow storm?

The same crews who collect garbage and recycling also plow snow. Collection may be delayed a day or two following a heavy snowstorm. Also, when air temperatures are -10 degrees or colder at 6:00AM, City workers are not required to perform collection duties.