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 3 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.
There are some areas within the city where on-street parking is allowed during a snow emergency. View the winter parking exemption page to learn more.
Note: No parking on any city street is allowed for more than 48 hours, including winter parking exemption areas. After 48 hours, your car is subject to ticketing and towing.
How will I know if a snow emergency is in effect?
- Sign up for ParkAlert, the city's citizen notification system.
- Sign up for email and text notifications through GovDelivery
- 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.
- Watch ParkTV or the local television news stations (Channel 4, 5, 9, 11).
- Three inches of snow is the guideline for declaring a snow emergency. Once the 3-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: Forecasts say the city will receive 4 to 7 inches of snow between 6 and 11 p.m. on Dec. 15. The city would announce 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 be in effect until your street is plowed to the curb. As soon as your street is plowed to the curb, you can park on the street.
- The city will provide the same high-quality service following the same pattern it has in the past — plowing main roads and then neighborhoods.
- The proactive approach provides additional flexibility. If the city received back-to-back snow events of 2 inches each for three days, for instance, it could declare a snow emergency if it needed to plow streets. Or, in the spring if there is more than 3 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 midnight and 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 1 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.
It is the responsibility of the resident and/or property owner to remove all accumulated snow from the remaining 64 miles of neighborhood sidewalks. According to St. Louis Park Municipal Code Section 24-342 (b1), the owner or occupant of any property abutting a public sidewalk shall remove and clear away all snow from the sidewalk:
- For commercial properties: within four business hours after snow has stopped falling or by the beginning of the next business day, whichever period is shorter.
- For residential properties: within six hours of daylight remaining after the snow has stopped falling or by noon the following day, whichever period is longer.
This includes any snow plowed from public streets onto the sidewalk. The city depends on and requires its residents and property owners to be aware of and responsive to the need to remove snow from neighborhood sidewalks in front of their property, including walks and ramps leading to a crosswalk.
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 1 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