During winter storm services, the City of Portland Department of Public Works cares for more than 560 lane miles of road. In addition, the city’s parks department cares for more than 100 miles of sidewalks.
Crews are assigned to shifts to respond 24/7 to weather events. Major arterial roadways, hills, and intersections are often treated before plowing operations begin, usually when two inches of snow falls. Plow teams concentrate first on major roadways and connectors to move traffic along before heading into residential areas.
WINTER STORM SERVICES HOTLINE
During the winter months, the Public Works Dispatch office is open 24-hours a day, reachable at 207-874-8493. Or, for sidewalk plowing concerns, please call 207-874-8793.
RESIDENTIAL SALT/SAND PILE
The City’s residential sand and salt pile will be located at the Little League parking lot at Payson Park. This sand and salt pile is for residential use only, contractors are not allowed. Residents can take two 5-gallon pails at a time.
ALERTS & PARKING BAN NOTIFICATIONS
Residents and visitors can view alerts on the City’s website at www.portlandmaine.gov or sign up to receive email, text, and phone notices via the Stay Connected feature when parking bans are declared.
The City can call a city-wide parking ban, a peninsula ban that covers the entire peninsula, or a yellow zone ban that covers the downtown district.
Motorists can also call the parking ban hotline at 207-879-0300.
PARKING & IMPOUND
All vehicles left on the street during a snow parking ban will be towed at the owner’s expense. Only cash, VISA, MasterCard, or Discover Card are accepted. Sorry, no checks will be accepted.
The snow impound lot can be reached at 207-774-3025.
Reiche School Lot Not Available
West End residents, please note that the Reiche School parking lot on Clark Street is not available for snow ban parking. The pool at Reiche school hosts Therapeutic Recreation programs 7 days a week, and our many disabled or special-access customers need the parking lot to be free in order to participate in the programs. Illegal parking in the Reiche lot prevents these people from participating, and cars parked there during snow bans will be towed.
Residents able to park off-street should do so in order to allow crews to remove snow from the streets and emergency vehicles to travel as safely and efficiently as possible.
If parking your car on the street, please park as close to the snowbank/curb as possible. Often people park several feet away from the curb in order to allow passengers to move in and out of the car easily. Parking the car in this manner shortens the width of the street by several feet, making it difficult for snowplows to clear the street safely and emergency vehicles to respond as quickly as possible to a fire or medical emergency. As such, if the street is impassable for an emergency vehicle, the vehicle blocking the street will be towed.
SIDEWALK SNOW REMOVAL REGULATIONS
The City’s sidewalk snow removal ordinance requires business owners to remove snow and ice from sidewalks abutting their property 12 hours following a winter storm, and residential owners to clear snow and ice abutting their property 18 hours following the end of a storm or when the City finishes snow removal operations, whichever is later.
Residential owners who fail to remove snow and ice within these time frames can be fined $75 for the first offense, $125 for the second offense in the same winter season, and $250 for any subsequent offense in the same winter season. Additionally, should the city have to remove the snow and ice or arrange for its removal, the property owner will be charged for the cost of removal plus a 10% charge for administration. Likewise, business owners risk facing larger fines and the cost of removal and administration.
A minimum of four feet is required to be clear of snow and treated for ice on all public sidewalks and sidewalk access ramps. Snow cannot be pushed or dumped from driveways and parking lots onto public access sidewalks and access ramps.
To view a map of city sidewalks cleared by Public Works and Parks, Recreation & Facilities staff, see winter sidewalks.
The City encourages community members to help their neighbors who are physically unable (elderly and disabled) to clear their sidewalks.
Elderly and disabled residents who need help with removing snow from sidewalks should contact the City’s Elder Services Department at 207-541-6620.
Able to help others?
The Age-Friendly Portland Steering Committee is looking for volunteers willing to shovel snow for an elderly neighbor this winter. Again. call the City’s Elder Services at 207-541-6620.
Also, consider becoming a volunteer for the Adopt-A-Stop program, which uses volunteers to ensure that bus stops are kept clear.
In addition, members of the community are encouraged to help the Portland Fire Department by keeping their neighborhood fire hydrants clear of snow and ice. The City currently has 1460 public hydrants. Also, consider helping Public Works by clearing catch basins and storm drains to help prevent water ponding on streets and in driveway openings.
Additional winter operations tips and reminders can be found here on the city website.