The Residential Snow Plow Program was created following the blizzards of 2006-07 to keep residential streets, or side streets, passable. This program is meant to shave off the very top few inches of snowpack to prevent deep rutting. The residential plows do not bring the street to bare pavement, but make the street more drivable, and ultimately safer, in larger storm events.
Denver’s residential plow program was initially developed as an emergency response program. The plows have been deployed about a dozen times since the program started to help residents get out of their neighborhoods and onto the main streets after major storms.
Starting in 2017, however, we're transitioning the program into one that may be helpful to residents on more occasions throughout the winter season. We are changing our criteria for calling out the residential plows to improve our response to Denver neighborhoods and address the side streets during more snow events.
New criteria for calling out the residential plows:
- Plows could be deployed during any point in the winter snow season (program used to run November 15 to March 15)
- 6 inches or more of snow predicted (criteria used to be 12 inches of snow predicted)
- The Manager of Denver Public Works recommends this program to the Mayor when necessary.
Resources utilized and what they do:
- City employees in 4x4 pickup trucks with plows are deployed to clear side streets throughout the City.
- Denver Public Works and Denver Parks & Recreation staff operate the residential plows; a special driver’s license is not required to operate a residential plow.
What to expect:
- The residential plows take one swipe down the middle of every side street to prevent deep ice rutting and to keep the streets passable.
- The residential plows shave off the top few inches of snowpack and will not expose bare pavement.
- The residential areas will not receive any anti icing or de icing material.