Snow FAQ


How soon does ice need to be removed?

Within 6 hours from the time it forms, per City Ordinance.

How soon does snow have to be removed?

Within 12 hours after snow stops falling during the day and before 1pm if it snowed during the night, per City Ordinance.

What does a "cleared" sidewalk look like?

We all have a shared responsibility for keeping our community safe and accessible during winter weather. For you, your neighbors, people with strollers or using wheelchairs, and the many people in Cambridge who walk, please do your part by keeping some following some guidelines when clearing your sidewalk.

Am I required to clear my sidewalk if I am elderly and/ or have a disability?

If you are a homeowner on a low income and/or you are elderly or have a disability, you may qualify for the City’s Snow Exemption Program, in which case the City will shovel your sidewalk. To find out whether you are eligible, please call the Cambridge Council on Aging, 617.349.6220 (voice) or 617.349.6050 (TTY). 

If you do not qualify for an exemption, the Council on Aging can provide you with a limited list of professional snow removal companies and a list of students who want to earn money by shoveling – you contact the student yourself and negotiate a price.

Does the City provide salt for residents to use for melting ice?

The City provides salt for use by residents in certain locations. Please be considerate: take only what you need to get through the current snow or ice event.

How can I report an uncleared sidewalk? What happens once I make a report?

You can report the address of unshoveled or icy sidewalks using our online reporting form or by calling the snow hotline at 617.349.4903. 

All reports will be inspected by Traffic or Public Works' staff, and a ticket will be issued if the property is found to be in violation of the Snow Ordinance.

How can I find out if the City has declared an emergency parking ban?

When a snow emergency is declared information is available as soon as possible at 617.349.4700, posted on the City's homepage, and on 22 CityView.

You can also sign up for Cambridge E-Line through the City's homepage to get a text message to your cell phone or an E-mail snow emergency alert.

A list and map of streets where parking is prohibited during a snow emergency is available on the Traffic Department's website. The website also has information on parking garages that provide free parking during a declared snow emergency.

How do can I find out if school is closed due to snow?

For information about school closings please call the 24-hr recorded school link line at 617.349.6513, check the City's homepage, or watch Municipal Channel 8.

How can we help you? I'd like...

Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139

Phone:617.349.4800
TDD:617.499.9924

Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

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