Snow Removal

Please see the parking section regarding parking during snow season.

Chicago Snow Command closely monitors incoming weather systems and deploys our main fleet of 274 snow trucks. Once on the roadways, trucks patrol, plow and salt the city’s streets. When the arterial streets are deemed safe for travel during or after a snowfall, the City’s salt trucks are dispatched to secondary and residential streets for salting and plowing operations.  Streets with hospitals and schools are given higher priority. This work continues until all city streets have been treated. When temperatures fall into the teens, the trucks often spray our road salt with calcium chloride to make the salt work more effectively at lower temperatures.   The Department of Streets and Sanitation also frequently uses environmentally friendly deicers composed of salt water, sugar beet byproducts and calcium chloride. When time and breaks in the weather permit, they will apply this pretreatment to our bridge decks and overpasses to slow down the formation of ice on driving surfaces.

During snowstorms, the Department of Streets and Sanitation also has the capacity to equip between 150 and 200 garbage trucks with “quick hitch” plows to supplement the fleet. Because these trucks don’t have salt spreading capability, they are run in tandem with trucks that do.

The City of Chicago does not plow alleys.

The Chicago Snow Corps is a program that connects volunteers with residents– such as seniors and residents with disabilities – in need of snow removal.  To request a volunteer to shovel your sidewalk or block in case of extreme snowfall, call 311, submit an online Service Request or contact our office.

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