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City of Boulder Prepares for Snowfall, Establishes Overnight Shelters and Reminds People to Clear Their Sidewalks

The city is changing some snow removal practices this season to make roads safer and increase efficiency of snow operations 

City of Boulder crews are preparing to keep Boulder’s primary and secondary streets, on-street bike lanes and multi-use paths safe and open to traffic during and after the possible snow showers forecasted for Monday. This year, the city has launched a new interactive map, located at , that allows residents to see what streets, bike lanes and multi-use paths are plowed.

The city is changing some snow removal practices this season to make roads safer and increase efficiency of snow operations. In previous years, snow crews moved snow to the center of some primary routes (called “windrowing”), which created safety issues with emergency vehicles and drivers turning left and getting stuck in the center of traffic. Except for a section of Table Mesa Drive, crews will now plow snow to the sides of streets. While this change should not impact bike lanes or sidewalks,  residents and businesses along primary routes  may need to plan for additional shoveling or plowing if snow is plowed onto driveways, or wait until snow crews have completed their first pass. Snow crews will attempt to avoid moving snow to driveways, although this won’t always be possible.

Boulder property owners, landlords and tenants are responsible for removing snow and ice from their sidewalks within 24 hours after snow stops falling, based on the  official snowfall report  from the National Weather Service. Clearing sidewalks in a timely manner makes travel safer for all users. Failure to remove snow from sidewalks before the 24-hour deadline may result in fines and/or abatement, which requires the responsible party to pay for a private snow removal contractor to clear the sidewalks. To report sidewalk violations, call Code Enforcement at  303-441-3333 .

The city's response generally involves the deployment of 17 plow trucks on predetermined routes. As resources allow, staff respond to requests from public safety personnel and the community. Emergency requests and requests from emergency personnel will be prioritized before other requests. For snow operations questions and requests, visit  Inquire Boulder  or call Snow Dispatch at  303-413-7109

Like other Front Range communities, the city usually does not plow residential streets, since most snow typically melts within a day or two and because residential street plowing would significantly increase costs, impacting other high-priority services. During major snowstorms, when the forecast calls for eight or more inches of snow or for temperatures to remain below freezing for 72 consecutive hours, the city will plow residential streets in predetermined areas. These streets were selected because of safety concerns caused by steep grades and shade. 

Visit for more details about snow and ice removal in Boulder.

The colder and snowy weather is also of concern for those experiencing homeless in our community. Bridge House Path to Home will provide an additional 65 spaces, up to 100, for those in need at Har HaShem at 3950 Baseline Road tonight beginning at 6:30 p.m. Boulder Shelter for the Homeless will also accept people between 5 and 7 p.m. on a walk-up basis at the shelter. 

Published: Oct. 8, 2017

Media Contacts:
Sarah Huntley, Media Relations, 303-441-3155