Snow Plowing Operations

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There are nearly 93 miles of City streets in the City of Gaithersburg. There are also roads within the City that are NOT maintained by City crews. All numbered roads in the City such as Routes 28, 117, 119, 124 and 355 are state roads and are cleared by the Maryland State Highway Administration. Montgomery County also has and maintains streets within the City limits, including Muddy Branch Road, Diamondback Drive and portions of Longdraft Road. Some new streets still are maintained by the developer (until work is complete), and there are a few private streets which are generally the responsibility of a homeowners association.

Plowing operations begin after snow accumulates two inches on the roadway. The City utilizes approximately 65 people and 40 pieces of equipment to remove snow. It takes seven to eight hours to plow all of the City’s streets one time. Depending on the length of storm and rate of snowfall, most streets will be plowed several times during the storm. After the snow ends, streets will be cleared a final time. Crews work around the clock until all streets are cleared.

It is very important that crews clear streets from curb to curb or shoulder to shoulder. Plowing the full width of the street allows for optimum traffic flow, keeps storm drains clear and provides space for crews to operate during heavy snows or in the event that a second storm comes in shortly after the end of the initial storm. It also allows for curbside parking after the storm.

If you have off-street parking, please use it. This will allow crews to plow streets in a more effective and efficient manner. It is also less likely that your car will be plowed in, splashed by salt or salt spray or hit by other vehicles. If you must park on the street, be sure to obey no parking signs, park close to the curb, and avoid parking on cul-de-sacs or at the end of a dead-end street.

As trucks plow snow, they leave a windrow or continuous mound of snow along the right side of the plow. This is unavoidable. Plows push snow, they do not remove it. Snow windrows will continue to be created each time the trucks plow the street, including the final pass after the snow quits falling. Unfortunately, if you clear this windrow before that final pass, trucks will create another windrow on their next pass. If you must shovel before that final pass, it will help if you shovel snow to the right side of your driveway as you stand facing the street.

The City plows public streets only. Private streets, mews, alleys, driveways, parking lots, head-in parking spaces, and entranceways are the responsibility of the property owner. Also, if a sidewalk is adjacent to your property, you are responsible to clear snow and ice off of that sidewalk within 12 hours of the last snowfall or freeze.