City of Trenton

Service Department

Snow Removal Program

Snow Plow Policy

During regular work hours, the Department of Public Works determines when streets require attention. After regular work hours, the Officer in Charge will advise the police dispatcher to call in the snow crews when the conditions warrant.

The City of Trenton is currently divided into four snow removal zones with approximately 12 miles of roadways in each section.  Each area is assigned a truck with a plow and salt spreader.  Additional trucks may be assigned as appropriate. If weather conditions warrant, maintenance crews transition to 24-hour operations with a driver working a 12-hour day shift and a second driver working a 12-hour night shift. Once weather conditions permit, drivers revert to their normal work schedules.

High traffic streets are treated first to maintain access for emergency vehicles and traffic flow. This would include hills, curves, busy intersections and school zones. Streets with lower traffic flow and smaller connector streets are treated next. Finally low-traveled subdivision streets, dead-ends, cul-de-sacs and alleys are treated.

Although drivers are given these priorities, they are able to adjust them due to practical experience, weather or unforeseen conditions. Heavy snow or ice may cause them to change their priorities.

During prolonged snowstorms, it is necessary for the snow plow operators to make repeated passes on the main street to keep traffic flowing. This delays the plows from clearing the neighborhood streets.

During heavy snow events, extra time is required to clear intersections of snow ridges that result when plow drivers cross the intersection on either intersecting street.

You can find our Snow Route Priority Map here.

Snow Plowing in Cul-de-Sacs and Alleys

Dead ends and cul-de-sacs are especially difficult areas for the larger trucks used on most through streets. As a result, four-wheel-drive pickup trucks equipped with plows are used on those streets to assist our larger trucks.


Alleys will be plowed as needed.

Snow Plow Safety on the Road

The snow plow operator's vision is often reduced by blowing snow coming off the plow blade. Do not assume the snow plow operators can see you approaching. When following a snow plow, if you cannot see the side mirrors on the snow plow, the driver cannot see you. City crews can do a more efficient job when residents travel only when necessary and use off street parking when available.

For your safety and the safety of the snow plow operators, give them plenty of room to make wide turns, keep a safe distance behind the plows, and do not pass the plows. Remember that snow plows must maintain a certain speed for the plows to be effective.

Safety of Children

Caution your children not to play in the snow piles or drifts near the street and to always stay clear of the snow plow.

Parking During Snow Storms

During snow events, residents are encouraged to use off street parking. By parking off the streets, this enables the city snow plow crews to clear the streets more efficiently. Plowing around cars slows the plows down.

Guidelines When Clearing Sidewalks and Driveways

Snow plow crews first open the center of all the secondary streets, then return to push snow to the curb. Residents are encouraged to wait until the snow crews have completed pushing to the curb before removing snow from their driveways and sidewalks near the streets. There may be a lengthy lag time between the initial clearing and the pushing back to the curb. 

Residents are required by City Ordinance 660.05 to clear their sidewalks of snow accumulation exclusive of Sundays and Federally mandated holidays. Snow, ice, dirt, and other debris shall not be placed in the street, gutter, or sidewalk. Once the crews have cleared the street, do not push or blow the snow from your driveway into the street. Passing motorists drive over the fresh snow and pack it down. When the temperature drops, that snow forms slippery patches resulting in a driving hazard.