Snow Removal


The City of Southfield's snow plowing fleet is responsible for the plowing and salting of more than 250 miles of road in the city. De-icing includes sump pump discharge, leaking manholes, main breaks, and gravel roadways.

The City of Southfield exercises a clear pavement policy on its major roadway system. The overall goal of the Streets and Highway Department is to make certain that all roadways are safe and clear of snow and ice within a reasonable time.

All residential streets with approximately four inches (4'') or more of snow are plowed after Priority One (major streets, state and county roads, bus routes, hills, bridges) and Priority Two (secondary roads/collector streets, half mile roads) are completed. Should more snow fall, crews are pulled back onto Priority One routes until they are deemed clear and safe.

Please follow these guidelines to help City of Southfield crews facilitate snow removal:

  • Don’t Park on the Street. Move your cars out of the street and especially cul-de-sacs into the driveways when an accumulating snow is predicted. It is difficult to maneuver trucks around on dry pavement let alone in icy conditions.
  • Give plows & salt trucks room to maneuver. When applying salt and plowing snow they have to change lanes, back up and make more frequent stops.
  • Don’t pass trucks when salt is being applied or snow is being plowed. Keeping control of your vehicle can be extremely difficult.
  • Don’t pull out into the intersection when snowplow trucks are approaching. Drivers cannot control the snow coming off the plow blades. The snow often contains rocks and other debris from the roadway.
  • Don’t shovel snow into the street when clearing sidewalks, driveways and parking lots. This makes clearing the roadway more difficult and creates more hazardous ice patches.
  • Dig out Fire Hydrants – if there is a fire hydrant at your curb, please try to uncover it. In the event of a fire emergency, this could help save a life by assisting the fire department to locate the hydrant more quickly.

Which roads get plowed first? 
The City of Southfield prioritizes snow and ice control operations to make the roads safe and accessible during the winter season:

  • Priority I – Major City and County Roads
  • Priority II – School & bus routes, Secondary roads (collector streets), and other potentially hazardous locations
  • Priority III – Residential streets

Why don’t subdivisions always get plowed?
Plowing operations on local roads (subdivisions) will be initiated when snow accumulates more than four (4) inches. Southfield’s 246 miles of local roads take 36 hours to clear after a snowstorm passes. When snow accumulates eight or more (8 +) inches or we have complications like freezing rain or more snow fall, clearing will take longer than the standard 36 hours. For snowfalls less than four (4) inches, we salt and treat the hills, intersections and curves as needed.

What about the lump of snow in my driveway?
Snow plows typically leave a lump of snow at the ends of driveways as they clear the roadways. Residents are responsible for clearing the lump of snow at the end of their driveway. If you have a neighbor that needs help, please give them a hand. Please do not shovel the snow back into the street. It can create dangerous ice patches for all drivers.

Following please find information to help keep you and your family safe and to minimize some of the potential frustrations of the winter season:

  • Instruct children to stay away from the roads that are being plowed even when waiting for the school bus.
  • Children should not play in ditches or by the side of the road. They should never build snow forts close to the road, not even at the end of a driveway.
  • Never throw snowballs at vehicles. This could cause an accident resulting in personal injury or property damage.
  • Move parked vehicles off roadsides when possible so plow drivers can safely clear the roadways.
  • Keep rocks, timber fences, flower beds, etc. away from the road right-of-way.
  • Keep garbage cans off the shoulder and in your driveway so that they do not get damaged by snow removal operations.

Driveways and Snow 
Following are some steps that you can take when clearing your driveways to reduce the amount of snow that may get piled into your driveway as the road is plowed:

  • If possible, clean driveways and around mailboxes after we have finished plowing the roads.
  • If this is not possible . . . When clearing your driveway, place as much snow as possible in the direction of travel downstream on your side of the road.
  • Clear an area upstream from your driveway opening to form a “pocket” for the snow from the road to go into. The result will be that more of the snow from the clearing of the road will go into the open “pocket” area and less will end up in the end of your driveway.

Residents are responsible for clearing snow and ice from sidewalks and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) curb cuts in front of their homes within a twenty-four (24) consecutive hour time period per City Code. Clearing sidewalks is very important to maintain safety for pedestrians.

Assistance with Snow Plowing
The CHORE Program provides service for income eligible senior citizens 62-years-old or older. They also provide assistance for permanently disabled individuals (any age) that live alone in their home in the city of Southfield.

In the Event of A Snow Emergency:

If the City of Southfield declares a snow emergency, homeowners are requested to do the following:

  • Remove all vehicles from the street so that snow plows may clear the roadways.
  • Do not blow or shovel snow into the street. This creates hazards for both the homeowner and drivers. When shoveling snow from your driveway apron, shovel from left to right (with your back to your house). This should help prevent snow plows from pushing extra snow into your driveway.
  • Dress appropriately before attempting to shovel or remove snow from your driveway or sidewalk. Take frequent breaks.
  • Remember to clear sidewalks for safer pedestrian use.
  • In the event that ice or snow downs a power line, stay clear of the area and contact DTE Energy, at (800) 477-4747; or the Southfield Police Department at (248) 796-5500.
  • Seek additional information on major radio stations, commercial television, and our local City Cable Channel 15.