Snow Plowing & Parking

Norwalk Public Works

First and foremost please slow down and use caution when snow removal equipment is on the roads.  Follow well behind the plow with your headlights on, staying clear of flying snow and ice control materials.  Remember to avoid the snow plow operator’s blind spots by staying back 50 feet. 

If there is snow, the snow ordinance is likely in place.  The snow ordinance prohibits parking on City streets and City-owned parking lots, subject to a $35 ticket or being towed.  How do you know if the snow ordinance is in place?

  • Sign up for the City of Norwalk Email and Text Message Alert System
  • Visit the City of Norwalk website.  The Snow Ordinance will show up as an alert on the very first page you open.
  • Follow the City of Norwalk on Facebook and Twitter
  • Call City Hall Announcements (515) 981-0228 Option 4

A snow ordinance will remain in effect until it has been lifted by the Public Works Director.  Snow plows may make multiple passes down your street during a snow event.  Residents are not able to park on the street again until the snow ordinance has been lifted.

Public Works has established priorities for our snow removal process in order to make the most efficient use of our available resources.  Depending on the nature of the storm, deviations could occur.  The established priorities are as follows:

1st Priority: Arterials – The minimum network which must be kept open to provide a transportation system for police, fire and rescue units.

2nd Priority: Collector Streets

3Rd Priority: Residential Streets and city-owned sidewalks

4th Priority:  Hauling snow out of cul-de-sacs and plowing City trails

During snow removal operations residential driveways may be blocked.  We try to keep this to a minimum, however property owners are responsible for clearing their driveways.

During a snow ordinance and cleanup efforts, vehicles on roadways may be ticketed or towed if they impede normal snow removal operations.  To determine if a snow ordinance is in place, sign up for the City Email and Text Message Alert System. 

The City of Norwalk does not have designated emergency snow route.  All city streets have restricted parking during a snow ordinance.

The timing and depth of the snow accumulation, along with timing of traffic normally dictate when snow plowing operations will begin.  During large storms, plowing will take place as needed in an attempt to keep the accumulation on the pavement surface lower than the desired guidelines.  Snow plowing operations may be done in conjunction with ice control activities.

SIDEWALKS – Private Responsibility
All sidewalks adjacent to the your property are the responsibility of the property owner.  The City’s responsibility is to plow the streets and keep them open to traffic.  Because of the location of some sidewalks and the volume of snow being moved, there will be times where the plow drivers may deposit snow onto the sidewalks.  It is still the responsibility of the property owner to remove all snow from their sidewalk.  Property owners are given 24 hours after the end of a storm to do this.  See Code Section 136.03 “Removal of Snow, Ice and Accumulations (sidewalk)”.  All complaint calls about private sidewalks not being shoveled after the 24-hour period should be directed to the Nuisance Department at (515) 981-9530. 

DRIVEWAYS – Private Responsibility
Any snow placed in driveways by City plows is the responsibility of the property owner to remove.  Snow from a private driveway may not be placed on or pushed across a City street in accordance with Section 135.12 “Dumping of Snow” of the City Code.

When plowing cul-de-sacs we often plow snow to one location of the circle that can handle the accumulation and is free of fire hydrants.  It is often in between homes.  When the snow accumulates to the point of pushing past the sidewalk, we make plans to remove the pile and haul to a safe area and allow it to melt.  On some cul-de-sacs we plow everything to the middle as utility and driveways do now allow us to push into the right of way.  These piles will be cleared at our earliest convenience, as they cause a melt and re-freeze condition that is unsafe.  During the worse snows we will put snow in a combination of places to get the street clear and keep residents safe.  This means you may end up with snow on your sidewalk or near your driveway.  Again, these are instances where we will come back to clean up as needed. 

While the City realizes it can be frustrating to finish clearing your driveway and then have the plow come by, the snow placed in driveways by City plows is the responsibility of the property owner to remove. City Code Section 135.12 Snow from a private driveway may not be placed on or pushed onto or across a City street.

Place receptacles in your driveway or back of curb if the snow allows.  If they migrate to the street there is a good chance of them being hit or our staff not plowing a portion of the street to avoid them.  We issue snow ordinances to keep the obstacles out of the street.  Placing receptacles in the street is counterproductive.  We understand this can be inconvenient, but this is best for snow removal and safe streets.

The City will strive to plow the snow within the confines of the curb line of a street.  During frequent periods of heavy snowfall accumulation, there may be times when plows cannot physically place the snow from the curb line of the street onto City right-of-way.  The adjacent resident will be responsible for cleaning snow around their mailbox to assure delivery of mail. 

Residents are also responsible for making sure their mailbox is properly installed behind the curb line and able to withstand snow cleaning efforts by the City.