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Last Updated at December 6, 1:34 PM
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Parking

Snow Emergency Parking Ban Information

During substantial storms, the City may declare a Snow Emergency Parking Ban which prohibits parking on streets signed "No Parking during Snow Emergency". When a snow emergency is declared, information is made available at 617-349-4700, the City's homepage and snow center, and on 22-CityView. To receive notifications about snow emergencies via e-mail, text message, and/or phone announcement (for any landline or cell phone in the city or elsewhere), sign up for CodeRED. Every effort is made to give residents as much advance notice as possible of an impending snow emergency.

Parking Garage Locator

Enter you address to find the nearest parking garage offering off-street parking during a declared snow emergency parking ban.

Transportation

Last Updated at December 10, 8:22 PM

The information below is provided by the MBTA/Bluebikes and only displays weather-related delays.

Streets and Sidewalks

The City's Public Works Department will clear City streets and sidewalks as soon as possible. Our goals are to chemically treat all major arteries within three hours of when snow begins, to keep main arteries plowed during all stages of a storm, and to clear all streets and the sidewalks bordering City property once a storm has stopped. Public Works clears over 23 miles of sidewalk areas including those around schools, public buildings, parks and high volume bus stops. Priority areas to be cleared are those areas surrounding City buildings, major squares throughout the City, and sidewalks and pathways surrounding City parks.

What can you do to help?

Please clear snow to curb so that collection crews can access your trash barrels and recycling toters and they are not behind snow banks. Please also help make streets and sidewalks accessible for all pedestrians during winter by removing snow and ice and reporting unshoveled or icy sidewalks. Together, we can keep Cambridge a walkable city all year long.

Shoveling

How soon do residents/businesses need to remove ice and snow from sidewalks?

Ice needs to be removed within 6 hours from the time it forms, per City Ordinance. Snow needs 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.

The fine for failing to comply with the City’s sidewalk clearance ordinances is $50/day for each day of non-compliance. Even if you aren’t around, it is your responsibility to ensure someone clears sidewalks and ramps next to your property.

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.

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.

What does a "cleared" sidewalk look like?

Be sure you are in compliance with the City's Snow and Ice Removal Ordinance:

  • Shovel your sidewalk and clear it of ice on all sides of your property, down to bare pavement.
  • Make the path wide enough for someone using a wheelchair, walker or stroller (at least 3 feet wide). 
  • Clear snow to curb so that collection crews can access your trash barrels and recycling toters and they are not behind snow banks.
  • Clear ramps at corners and crosswalks.
  • Stock up on ice melter before a storm. Use ice melter with calcium chloride (CaCl2), which is the best choice for the environment and only a small amount is required to melt ice. Potassium chloride (KCl) is okay, too. Avoid rock salt (NaCl or sodium chloride), which kills plants and trees.
  • Do not use sand. It doesn’t help pedestrians; but it makes hard ice more slippery. It gets into street drains and is expensive to clean up in the spring.
  • Keep street drains clear of snow (to avoid ponding/ icing at the bottom of ramps)
  • Consider helping neighbors who may have difficulty clearing their walk. Keeping sidewalks passable is the neighborly thing to do, and it’s the law.

Resources

You don't know when the next emergency or disaster will occur, so take some time to make a plan of what you and your family will do during emergencies. Your family may not all be together when an emergency occurs, so you should sit down and create a Family Plan to keep you and your family safe.

  • If you heat your dwelling with oil, check to make sure that you have enough home heating fuel to get through the storm.
  • Make sure your heating equipment and/or fireplaces have been serviced by a professional.
  • Install and maintain smoke alarms on every level of your home.Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Remember, if the smoke detector sounds leave your home immediately and call 911. 
  • Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are current and operating properly.
  • If you have medical conditions, make sure you have a supply of necessary medications.
  • To be prepared for a possible power outage, stock up on batteries, flashlights, and canned goods and bottled water.
If you see downed lines/wires, please report these directly to the Cambridge Police Non-Emergency Line at 617-349-3300.  Power outages should be reported directly to your utility company.
  • In case of a power outage, stock up on batteries, flashlights, and canned goods.
  • Avoid using candles during any power outage.
  • If power is lost, unplug all appliances except one lamp to prevent power surge damage.
  • Keep refrigerators closed as much as possible and keep temperature at 45° or below. Food will stay fresh for between 36-48 hours in a full fridge; 24 hours in a half-filled one.
  • Keep a battery-operated radio, extra medicine, blankets, and bottled water on hand.
  • Report power outages to Eversource at 800-592-2000.

Home and business owners need to be aware of the danger posed by heavy snow and ice building on roofs. Flat and low pitched roofs are at the greatest risk of buckling under heavy snow and ice accumulations. To safely remove snow from roofs, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts recommends:

DO's

  • Use a snow rake for pitched roofs (available in most hardware stores).
  • Start from the edge and work your way into the roof.
  • Try to shave snow down to 2-3" instead of scraping the roof clean to reduce the risk of damage to your shingles/roof.
  • Consider hiring professionals.

DON'Ts

  • Unless approved by a registered professional engineer, don’t add your weight to the roof when clearing now.
  • Don’t use a ladder since ice tends to build up on both the rungs of the ladder and the soles of your boots.
  • Don’t use blow torches, open-flames, or electric heating devices like hair dryers or heat guns to remove snow and ice.
  • Don’t try to remove ice or icicles from utility wires or meters. Call your utility company for assistance.
To help prevent and deal with frozen pipes, the Cambridge Water Department recommends:
  • Keep heat at adequate levels or leave faucets open with a slight drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Check for open windows, air vents, and wind drafts near water pipes.
  • Seal leaks in the basement foundation where cold air may enter. Stuff holes with insulation. A tiny opening may cause an exposed pipe to freeze.
  • Locate the main water shut off valve in your home and mark it for quick identification. Learn how to turn it off, and educate others in your household. If a water pipe bursts, shutting your home’s main valve quickly will minimize flooding and property damage.
  • Leave kitchen/sink cabinet doors open if pipes are subject to freezing. This will allow heat to reach the pipes.
  • Don’t use an open flame to thaw pipes. If your pipes do freeze, use a hair dryer or rags soaked in hot water to thaw lines.
  • Insulate pipes in unheated spaces like garages, basements, and crawl spaces. This will help prevent frozen pipes, avoiding property damage and the costs of repairs. Additionally, insulating hot water pipes will decrease your wait time for warm water.
  • Protect your water meter from icy drafts and freezing temperatures. Most frozen meters are caused by drafts from an open basement door or window. Double check your property for drafts as the cold weather sets in.
Heating is a leading cause of home fires in Massachusetts. Use your home heating system and space heating appliances responsibly to keep warm and keep safe.
  • Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • NEVER use your oven for heat.
  • NEVER bring charcoal or gas grills indoors (they are a carbon monoxide hazard).
  • Liquid or gas-fired portable space heaters are illegal in Massachusetts.
  • Use electric space heaters with extreme care; avoid placing them near curtains or other flammable materials and turn them off before going to bed.
  • Make sure all portable heat-producing appliances are unplugged when not in use (irons, hair devices, etc.).
  • NEVER leave candles unattended.
  • Keep dryer vents clear of snow and ice.
  • If gas and oil appliances and heating systems are not installed correctly, working well, or cleaned and serviced regularly, they can be sources of Carbon Monoxide exposure. Winter is a particularly dangerous time for CO poisoning. 
Each year, thousands of people suffer serious injuries to their hands, fingers, and backs due to the improper handling of snowblowers. Injuries typically occur when the snow is heavy, wet or has accumulated several inches. Below are some basic safety tips to keep you and others from being injured:
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing.
  • Wear sturdy footwear with good traction.
  • Always start your snow blower in a well-ventilated area to avoid possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • If you haven’t used your snow blower in a while, remember that gasoline may still be inside from the last time you used it. Gasoline is only good for about 30 days, unless you’ve added a fuel stabilizer.
  • Always make sure that the snow blower is completely turned off before replacing any parts.
  • Fix clogs carefully. If your snow blower becomes clogged, turn it off, and remove the key before trying to clear it. Use a stick and NOT your hands to clear debris.
  • If your snow blower hasn’t been checked up by a professional in a while, have it serviced before you use it.

For emergencies or issues requiring immediate assistance, ALWAYS call 9-1-1

  • Cambridge Public Works Dept:  617-349-4800
  • Cambridge Traffic, Parking & Transportation Dept.:  617-349-4700
  • Cambridge Water Depart.:  617-349-4770
  • Cambridge Inspectional Services Dept.:  617-349-6100
  • Cambridge Police/Fire (Non-Emergency) Line:  617-349-3300
  • Eversource Gas:  800-592-2000
  • Eversource Electric:  800-592-2000 
  • National Grid Gas:  800-233-5325
  • National Grid Electric:  800-322-3223
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