The St. Louis Park Public Works staff is committed to providing and maintaining safe and passable streets, alleys, sidewalks and trails throughout the community.
The city declares snow emergencies for major snow events of three inches or more. During a snow emergency, you must park your vehicle off the street to avoid ticketing and towing until the street is plowed to the curb. Visit the parking page to learn how you can be notified if a snow emergency is in effect, winter parking exemptions, how to get a winter parking permit and what to do it you are ticketed or towed.
There are some areas within the city where on street parking is allowed during the first 24 hours after a snow emergency has been declared. View the winter parking exemptions map to locate the areas that are exempt.
How will I know if a snow emergency is in effect?
The city announces snow emergencies on this website and in local media. You can also use any of the following to find out if a snow emergency has been declared:
- Sign up for ParkAlert, St. Louis Park’s citizen notification system. The system automatically calls all phone numbers listed in the white and yellow pages, but signing up lets you choose how you want to be contacted. Choose text messages, emails, cell phone calls, land line calls or all of the above.
- Download the myStLouisPark app for Apple or Android. The app will display an alert when a snow emergency is in effect.
- Follow the city’s social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor.
- Call the winter parking hotline at 952.924.2180.
- Three inches of snow is the guideline for declaring a snow emergency. Once the three-inch threshold is met, day or night, vehicles must be moved off the street.
- In an effort to be proactive whenever possible, the city uses a combination of available forecasts and can declare a snow emergency in advance of a storm. Example: Leading forecasts call for the city to receive 4 to 7 inches of snow between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Dec. 15. The city would proactively announce during the evening of Dec. 15 that a snow emergency will be in effect at 11 p.m. Dec. 15.
- Vehicles parked on a street during a snow emergency are subject to ticketing. If your vehicle remains on the street 12 hours after it’s ticketed, it will be towed.
- The snow emergency will remain in effect until your street is plowed to the curb. As soon as your street is plowed to the curb, you may again park vehicles on the street.
- Snow removal operations are not changing. The city will provide the same high-quality service following the same pattern it has in the past — plowing main roads and then moving into neighborhoods.
- The new proactive approach also provides additional flexibility. If the city received three back-to-back snow events of two inches each for three days, for instance, it could declare a snow emergency if needed to plow streets. Or, in the spring if there is more than three inches of snow predicted, but also high temperatures the following day that would likely melt the snow, the city could decide not to call a snow emergency.
Plowing operations begin between 12 – 5 a.m. depending on the amount of snow expected and the duration and intensity of the storm. High volume streets are plowed first due to traffic volume and access for emergency vehicles. All remaining residential streets and cul-de-sacs are plowed second. In an average snowfall, the goal of city crews is to clear high-volume streets by the morning commute, and residential streets and cul-de-sacs by noon. View the snow plow routes map to see which streets are main plow routes and which are residential.
Crews will continue cleanup on the second day where vehicles have moved, drifting has occurred and widening of the streets is necessary. Heavier snowfalls may require multiple day efforts for the initial plow and cleanup efforts.
Trail, sidewalk and alley snow removal
Sidewalk snow removal efforts begin after one inch of snow accumulation. After heavier storms, multiple snow removal efforts may be required, which may require an additional day.
There are 116 miles of sidewalks within the city, which are broken into two classifications — community or neighborhood. The city maintains over 52 miles of community sidewalks. We ask that residents and property owners assist, whenever possible, to maintain the remaining 64 miles of neighborhood sidewalks.
There are approximately 37 miles of trails within the city. The city plows roughly 30 miles of trails, including eight miles of regional trails and 23 miles of park trails. The majority of the remaining six miles of trails that are not maintained are within the Westwood Hills Nature Center.
Alley snow removal efforts begin after one inch of snow accumulation. After heavier storms, multiple snow removal efforts may be required due to the volume of snow and limited areas for the snow to go. Please refrain from pushing/blowing snow back into the alley. This is against city ordinance and can cause driving issues for others using the alley.
Ice control practices
The city’s snow removal/ice control policy provides direction for snow/ice removal activities and establishes priorities for how this is accomplished. Learn more about the city's snow and ice removal practices and strategies.
The city has not established a "bare pavement" or ice-free (safety) requirement. The city uses an industry-proven salting strategy that balances financial and environmental responsibility to achieve safe driving surfaces for the public. Learn more about the City of St. Louis Park's salting strategies.
Winter plow damage
Snow removal from streets, alleys and sidewalk may cause property damage even under the best circumstances and care on the part of the operators. The city accepts responsibility and will replace or repair mailboxes if the damage was done from physically being struck by the plow blade, wing or other piece of equipment. Mailboxes should be constructed sturdy enough to withstand snow rolling off a plow or wing. Therefore, damage to mailboxes resulting from the weight of the snow is the responsibility of the homeowner. The concept applies for damages to fences, trees or other structures. Grass areas on the public right of way that was scraped or gouged by city equipment will be repaired by a top dressing of black dirt and grass seed once the weather allow for repairs, usually late April. Residents are responsible for watering, if necessary, the areas that have been repaired.
You can report any plow damage to your yard by contacting the public works department. Staff will evaluate the damage and make necessary repairs.
Report an issue
Report a snow plowing or removal issue through myStLouisPark.
Public works division