|      |   

Go To Search
I Want To...
Click to Home

Snow and Ice Operations
Snow Operations changes for the 2014-2015 winter season

This City Council has decided to discontinue the use of de-icer material on the City’s streets this winter. City crews will instead apply cinders as a traction aide. ADOT crews will still be applying de-icer on state routes including; Route 66, Milton, West Route 66 and Fort Valley Road.

Snow packed and icy roads create challenging driving conditions. The use of snow chains or studded tires may be advisable. NAIPTA and FUSD bus routes on main arterials and major collectors may be impacted due to icy conditions. Anyone that has moved here within the past 6 years will see the biggest difference going back to using only cinders on all city streets.      

Cindering Procedures

Cinders are applied to major hills, signalized intersections, railroad crossings, shaded areas, problem areas and stop signed intersections. We limit the use of cinders in residential areas and flat roads.

Cinders must be reapplied frequently due to traffic pushing the cinders into the snow/ice, crushing or blowing off the roadway.

Snow Operations Priorities & Target Time Frames

The Flagstaff City Council approved a snow operations policy which sets priorities for plowing as well as some desired time frames. This policy includes a goal to keep first priority streets open at all times.

First priority areas consist of the following:

            1.         Main Arterials  
            2.         Major Hills 
            3.         Downtown
            4.         Mountain Line Transit Routes
            5.         School Bus Routes

All other streets are considered Second Priority Areas.

The policy also sets the following target plowing time frames based on the amount of snowfall received:

During the months of January and February only. 

*          0 to 3 inches of snow - First priority areas only
*          3 to 8 inches of snow - Second priority areas completed within 12 hours
*          8 to 12 inches of snow - Second priority areas completed within 18 hours
*          Over 12 inches of snow - Second priority areas completed within 36 hours

These targets are from the beginning of the snow season to the end of December and from the end of February to the end of the snow season.

*          0 to 4 inches of snow - First priority areas only
*          4 to 8 inches of snow - Second priority areas completed within 12 hours
*          8 to 12 inches of snow - Second priority areas completed within 18 hours
*          Over 12 inches of snow - Second priority areas completed within 36 hours

Snow operations crews operate on 12 hour shifts and work around the clock plowing, cindering and picking up snow during and after a storm.


Snow Plowing Challenges
The timing of snow storms creates many challenges. If we receive snow right before the morning rush hour or the evening rush hour, it is very difficult to keep the first priorities open and passable. Depending upon the amount of accumulation, approximately 4-12 hours is required to plow and cinder the first priority streets one time.

Winter Parking Ordinance
View City Code 9-01-001-0003

There is NO PARKING on city streets or alleyways from midnight to 7:00 a.m. The City of Flagstaff’s Winter Parking Ordinance goes into effect on November 1st and will remain in effect to April 1st.  This parking restriction is enforced whether it is snowing or not.

This ordinance allows our Streets Section crews to thoroughly plow streets for your safe travel and it also aids street sweepers in the removal of cinders following a snowstorm.

The Flagstaff Police Department does enforce the ordinance. If you are parked in violation of the ordinance and it’s not snowing, you will receive a ticket. If you are parked in violation of the ordinance and it’s snowing, you are likely to have your vehicle towed away as well as receiving a citation.

Clearing Sidewalks

View City Code 8-03-001-0004

Property owners and occupants are responsible for keeping the sidewalks adjacent to their property free and clear of any accumulation of snow, ice, or other obstruction; in any event no later than 24 hours after the accumulation. The ordinance also prohibits moving snow or ice onto city streets or alleys. Shoveling snow onto streets after plowing compounds ice buildup. Changes in the Safe Sidewalk Ordinance include owners/occupants being served a Notice of Violation 1 time per season with unsafe sidewalks being abated at their cost. 

Please be considerate of your customers/neighbors...clear off your sidewalk following a snowstorm, deposit of snow or ice from street clearing efforts or other accumulations.

Please Clear Water Meters of Snow & Ice
You can help our water meter readers provide you with an accurate reading of your water consumption by clearing off the snow and ice from your water meter following a snow storm.  If our meter readers are unable to access a residential or business meter an estimate will be used for billing purposes.

Tips for a safe winter season:

Use chains or studded tires when necessary

Slow down

Be patient

Only drive when necessary

Be considerate of other drivers, emergency vehicles and snow operation crews

Allow more travel time during or following a snowstorm

Do not park on City streets or alleyways between the hours of midnight to 7:00 a.m.

Keep areas in front of driveways and mailboxes clear

Clear sidewalks of snow and ice within 24 hours of a snowstorm

Drive at least 50 feet behind snowplows and cinder trucks

If you have questions about snow operations in the City of Flagstaff call the Public Works Office at 213-2100.