The Department of Public Works has the primary responsibility for execution of the snow and ice control plan and is responsible for more than 320 miles of roadways, 54 plus miles of sidewalks, approximately 43 City owned buildings (including 21 school sites), 15 city-owned public parking lots, streets and sidewalks over 22 bridges, areas adjacent to 70 plus school bus stops, 35 plus MBTA bus stops, 10 T-Stops, and 3 Commuter rail stops. The City encompasses 18.3 square miles and is comprised of 13 distinct villages, eight separate wards, and has a population of 87,000 plus. Bordering communities include: Brookline, Brighton, Watertown, Waltham, Weston, Wellesley, Needham and West Roxbury. Newton also has east–west and north-south highway infrastructure with Routes 9, 90 and 128/95 running through the city.
Snow routes for arterial streets, collector routes, and residential local-through routes are evaluated and assigned annually. Maps containing arterial, collector and residential local-through routes identify the priority of each street within the City. The snow route priorities are based on traffic patterns, traffic speeds, traffic volumes, transportation nodes, schools or other public institutions, village squares, and the steepness of the roadways. New annexations, street additions and changes in traffic patterns are considered when revisions are made. The Department of Public works factors in “hot spots” (areas prone to snow drifting, ice formulations, etc.) and other problem locations during the route assessment process.
Each snow route is plowed in a specific sequence and made passable as quickly and efficiently as possible. Once the storm is over, the routes are widened out by pushing the snow back to the curb line and clearing intersections. The City has a curb to curb, clear wet pavement snow plowing policy. Dangerous hills, curves, and bridges are maintained and treated as necessary throughout winter events. The City’s goal is to have all streets cleared within eight hours after the storm has ceased.
The designated City sidewalk routes are divided into six separate routes distributed within the City snow zones. City staff performs snow and ice control on 54 plus miles of designated city sidewalk routes including 1,400 plus curb cuts contained within those routes. Private contractors may be used to supplement City forces. The City’s goal is to have the city maintained sidewalk routes cleared within 30 hours after the storm has ceased. Click here for city maintained sidewalk routes.
Beginning November 15 through April 15 vehicles are not allowed to park on any City street for longer than one hour between the hours of 2:00am and 6:00am. If a “Snow Emergency” is declared, parking is not allowed on any City street and vehicle owners may be ticketed or cars towed. For additional information please visit the Newton Police Department web pages.
Residents may Park in City owned parking lots overnight from November 15 through April 15. Permits are required and may be obtained through the Newton Police Department.
The City of Newton’s ordinances pertaining to snow and ice operations are intended to minimize safety hazards, reduce situations that impede operations associated with snow and ice control, and to provide for continued mobility for residents and visitors to traverse the City’s streets and sidewalks. Property owners are required by City ordinances to clear snow and ice from the walk and ADA curb cuts within 30 hours after a storm has ceased. Properties within identified business districts are required to clear snow and ice from the walk and ADA curb cuts within 24 hours. Depositing snow or ice on any public roadway or sidewalk is not permitted. View the City snow ordinances by visiting the following link. City Ordinances
Crews have a difficult time reaching trash barrels and recycling carts behind snow banks. Please clear an area at the curb, or place containers next to or in front of snow banks. During extreme winter events solid waste and recycling collection is cancelled only as a last resort. If existing conditions warrant, scheduled collections may be delayed or cancelled.
• Place carts and barrels beside or next to snow banks rather than behind them
• Shovel or clear a space to place the carts or barrels
• Leave carts or barrels behind or on snow banks
• Place or deposit snow or ice next to carts or barrels