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Ice & Snow Removal
With more than 300 miles of streets and sidewalks to clear, winter presents unique challenges in a densely populated city like ours. Here is an overview of the City's snow-clearing operations and policies. For more detailed information, please visit the Snow Policies FAQ.
The City is responsible for keeping more than 100 miles of roadway cleared of snow. Roads are plowed in this order of priority: main streets, streets around the schools, side streets.
Along with other communities, the City uses Sensible Salting Practices to minimize damage to roads and to the environment, and to save on overtime and salt costs. A combination of sensible salting and frequent plowing keeps roads safe and passable. Sensible salting means:
- Limited use of salt on secondary and side roads.
- No salt is used between midnight and 4 a.m.
- Only key areas and intersections are salted during heavy snow events.
The City enacted a Parking Ban effective November 27, 2014 on residential streets when snow exceeds two inches. The law enables plows to clear snow from the streets so that cars and emergency vehicles can move through the City safely and efficiently.
City ordinance (Ordinance 743.01) requires residents to clear sidewalks, including corner property curb ramps, of snow, ice, and slush by 9 am the day after a snowfall. However, if snow on the sidewalks reaches at least six inches, the City will plow after streets are cleared and when crews are available.
During winter months when the snow and ice piles high, Shaker’s 1,500 fire hydrants often are buried. If you are able, please clear snow from around hydrants and avoid shoveling snow on top of them so that fire crews can quickly gain access during an emergency.
However, if fire hydrants are buried in snow and you are unable to dig them out, don’t worry! The Shaker Heights Fire Department has detailed maps indicating the specific locations of all hydrants. In the event of a fire where a hydrant is not immediately accessible, each truck is equipped with 700 gallons of water — enough to fight a fire for approximately 10 minutes — while crews simultaneously dig out the closest hydrant.
Homeowners are responsible for clearing their own driveways. Snow removal contractors must be permitted by the Police Department, display the permit and adhere to guidelines about where snow may be deposited. Please note that City street plowing will result in some snow pushed onto driveway aprons, which homeowners need to clear.