U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Winter is Coming... Are You Ready?

Monday, November 21, 2022
With the winter season upon us, we remind residents and property owners of their responsibilities per City Ordinance regarding snow and ice removal following a storm.
  • Clear sidewalks next to your property 3-4 feet wide to bare pavement. This must occur within 12 hours after snow stops falling in the daytime, and before 1 p.m. when it has fallen overnight.
  • Clear corner properties on all sides and access to ramps at crosswalks.
  • Remove or melt all ice within 6 hours of the time it forms. If you are away, it is still your responsibility to ensure someone clears sidewalks and ramps next to your property. The fine for failing to comply with the City’s sidewalk clearance ordinance is $50 per day.
  • Use snow and ice melt products sparingly. When the snow melts, these products from roads, sidewalks, and driveways flow into the nearest catch basin and into our waterways.
  • Try to buy products that are not toxic to animals and plants.
  • Help keep catch basins clear to prevent flooding.
  • Don’t shovel snow into a bike lane.
  • Please help shovel out nearby fire hydrants.
Register for Snow Alerts
Register to receive Snow Emergency Parking Ban alerts via phone, text, or email at Cambridgema.gov/subscribe, or follow us on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook for updates. The City is using the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation.

Check Cambridge Snow Center for Updates
The City of Cambridge Snow Center, Cambridgema.gov/snow, includes information and updates about snow emergency parking restrictions, alternative off-street parking, and closures.

What the City will do:
  • The City will chemically treat all major streets within three hours of when snow begins, keep them plowed during all stages of a storm, and work to clear all streets and sidewalks bordering City property once a storm has ended.
  • In certain instances, Public Works applies brine solution in liquid form to the roadway before anticipated snow or ice and prevents snow and ice from bonding with the street surfaces. Unlike granular salts which can bounce off roadways or get stuck on top of snow and ice, brine begins working immediately once it comes into contact with precipitation. This results in easier and more efficient snow removal. Additionally, using brine reduces the environmental impact by using approximately 30% less salt, and also cuts down on excess salt running off into tree wells and waterways.
  • We continuously evaluate processes to remove snow as efficiently and effectively as possible and invest in new equipment and environmentally friendly techniques to make the City’s sidewalks and streets safe and passable for all users.
Prepare for Winter Storms
  • Make sure you have enough heating fuel to get through the storm;
  • Stock up on batteries, flashlights, canned goods, bottled water;
  • Ensure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly;
  • Make sure you have a supply of necessary medications.
No Heat?
To report no heat in your rental housing, contact Inspectional Services Department at 617-349-6100 and ask for the Housing Inspector for your neighborhood. After hours, call Cambridge Fire Department at 617-349-4900 to contact an inspector on your behalf.

Snow Exemption Program and Shoveling Assistance
Low-income residents who are elderly or have a disability may qualify for the City’s Snow Exemption Program. For more information, call the Cambridge Council on Aging at 617-349-6220. The Council on Aging can also provide a limited list of professional snow removal companies and students who will shovel for a fee to be negotiated.

Don’t Forget these Important On-Street Parking Guidelines:

  • Park at least 20 feet from street corners to improve visibility and enable plows to push snow away from crosswalks.
  • It is illegal to use space savers to hold a cleared parking space; objects left in on-street parking spaces will be removed.

Report Issues Online or Using Your Smartphone

  • See sidewalks, bike lanes, or streets that need clearing? Reporting an issue only takes a minute and helps make our streets and sidewalks safer.
  • Download the free Commonwealth Connect app for iPhone or Android or report online at Cambridgema.gov/311.
Contact Us

How can we help?

Please provide as much detail below as possible so City staff can respond to your inquiry:

As a governmental entity, the Massachusetts Public Records Law applies to records made or received by the City. Any information received through use of this site is subject to the same provisions as information provided on paper.

Read our complete privacy statement

Service Requests

Enter a service request via SeeClickFix for things like missed trash pickups, potholes, etc., click here