Snow is On the Way—Do You Know New Canaan's Plow Policy?

We may only get a dusting tonight, but be prepared for the next major snowstorm to hit town.


Tonight's forecast calls for a bit of snow—a dusting, according to the National Weather Service—but what will the rest of the winter hold for New Canaan's Highway Department?

The Highway Department has posted its snow plowing policy on the town's website for those interested in preparing for the next major snowstorm to hit town.

A quick summary:

The Highway Department is responsible for 120 miles of road, 21 parking lots, and Waveny Park. The town’s roads are divided into 11 separate sections. The department begins sanding operations in all 11 sections and parking lots simultaneously once snow, sleet or freezing rain begins to fall. Here's more information from the Town of New Canaan Web site:

  • Snow Plowing
    When two inches of snow has fallen and more is expected the town moves into a plowing operation. Opening roads for emergency vehicles and routine traffic is a priority and the town continue with this procedure for the duration of the storm. Once the storm has abated the town must begin to push back the snow to the curb line and clear intersections.  Crews will continue to monitor all roads for icy spots and where wind blows snow across roadways. A sand/salt mixture will be applied to assure that all riding surfaces and braking areas remain drivable.
  • Blocked Driveways
    All snowplows angle the same way (to the drivers right) and when plowing crews will push the snow in front of a driveway. The property owners are responsible for access to their own driveway.

  • Private Plowing
    The town prohibits snowplow contractors from plowing snow out of driveways and parking lots onto town roads. This practice is dangerous and impedes the town’s snow removal efforts. If there is no other alternative to pushing snow onto the roadway, then the plow driver must plow off the windrow or pile left on the road by re-plowing until the road is safe. This may not necessarily mean bare pavement, but should be no worse than when the driver began work.

  • Parking Lots
    The Highway Department begins sanding and plowing parking lots in a order of priority starting with the train station commuter lots, town building lots, and finishing with recreational lots. The town understands that overnight parking in a commuter lot may be unavoidable, however all vehicles should be removed from all parking lots as soon as possible so that the lot can be cleared for the next business day.

  • Snow Removal
    Snow removal will be performed when snow has accumulated from past storms, or after a storm that has left hazardous conditions due to the displacement of snow. Snow removal will take place in the early morning hours to minimize any traffic and/or business disruption. Priority is given to downtown locations first followed by parking lots. The town will also send crews to clear snow and ice from catch basins to ensure that melting snow will have a place to run off.

  • Sidewalks
    Per town ordinance, sidewalks are the sole responsibility of the adjacent property owner. In order to reduce any liability snow should be removed from sidewalks in a timely fashion. Sand and/or salt should be broadcast as necessary.

  • Mailbox Damage
    Any objects placed in the town right of way are placed there at the owner’s risk. The town does not generally assume any responsibility for replacing mailboxes or posts that are within the town’s right of way unless they are physically hit by our equipment. Mailboxes and supporting posts must be installed to withstand the rigors of snow removal, including the force of snow and slush being plowed to the roadside.

  • Parking Bans
    There is no overnight parking on any cul-de-sac (dead end) road from the time a storm begins until such time that all roads are cleared of snow and ice. Parking at the end of these roads is very dangerous for both homeowners and drivers, and at times becomes impassable for town’s plowing, fire, and EMS equipment.
Glen K Dunbar January 26, 2013 at 03:33 PM
Ummmm.....Seems like the private citizen is pretty much repsonsible for everything almost. Unfair !! What if the person has or can get a note from a Dr stating that the person is NOT capable of doing ANY phsyical labor. ?? lucky I live in a condo now. But, I still think it stinks I have to brush offf the snow from my windows on the car and dig out and around the car.
Judge Crater January 27, 2013 at 01:43 AM
A CORRECTION When the controversial Main Street sidewalks were being debated, almost virtually no adjacent property owners were in favor if it meant they would be responsible for liability and snow removal. The following excerpt from the New Canaan Town website states: . . . THE TOWN SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR SNOW REMOVAL FROM PUBLIC SIDEWALKS ABUTTING SINGLE-FAMILY OR TWO-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL USES IN THE BUSINESS ZONES, AS WELL AS FROM PUBLIC SIDEWALKS IN THE RESIDENTIAL ZONES. . . This regulation has been in effect since 2008 and is listed in the Town Code in Chapter 54-48.
Glen K Dunbar January 27, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Thanks Judge. I new the town is required to remove snow from main sidewalks. Too bad they don't know it...OR...more the case thinks we don't and will like a jack-a** do it on our own. yea right...I'll do it right now. Lucky I moved. Yet, STILL the main walks never get done. Anything to make MY life inconvenient
Glen K Dunbar January 27, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Moreover, I wish someone would give me a FREE relocation package so I can move to San Diego or someplace w/ NO weather woes. I am tired of this weather around here. 51+ yrs of this nonsense weather is enough. Bail out please!!
Glen K Dunbar February 07, 2013 at 10:36 PM
All I can say is they had better keep on top of it throughout the storm and right quick after it. We don't need this headache will everything else going on. Stinks


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