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How does the City select the streets that will be plowed or treated during a storm?

When it snows, SDOT crews maintain a network of pre-selected key routes for emergency vehicles, public transportation and most street traffic.   Our equipment is busy 24-hours a day clearing 1,100 lane miles of major arterial streets.  We do not plow residential streets.

How is the snow plowing performed?

Snow is plowed to the side of the street. This way, when the snow begins to melt, it will not run back over the street surface and turn to ice if the temperature drops during the night.  

Who is responsible for clearing the snow off sidewalks and driveways?

Businesses and residents are responsible for clearing the driveways and the sidewalks next to their property. Unfortunately, SDOT does not have the resources to clear these sidewalks.

What kind of communication takes place among the state, county, and city?

SDOT works together with state, county, and city agencies as well as Metro Transit, Community Transit, Sound Transit and the Seattle School District. Managers from these agencies meet each year to plan how they will coordinate their work. During snow and ice events they assist each other, and their dispatchers share information by phone and fax.

For more information, call (206) 684-ROAD (684-7623).


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