Snow FAQ

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  • Why isn’t my street plowed yet?

    Because we’re still working! The City has about 6,400 lane miles of pavement that snow crews clear during every snowfall. It takes about a business day for all of our vehicles to make a single pass on all neighborhood and primary streets.

    Kansas City Snow Command assesses each snow event individually and allocates resources as needed. Neighborhood streets may not be plowed during minor snow events.

  • Why isn’t my street plowed to bare pavement?

    The City has 65 pickup trucks that plow our 4,000 lane miles of neighborhood streets. Those trucks plow a drivable lane in neighborhoods, rather than plowing to bare pavement. That allows us to work around cars parked on the street and allow access to primary streets as quickly as possible. Neighborhood streets are plowed during daylight hours, usually between 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM.

  • How do you determine which streets are plowed to bare pavement?

    Primary streets are salted, plowed from curb to curb and down to bare pavement. This allows access for emergency vehicles as well as the driving public. Crews plow primary streets 24 hours a day. Neighborhood streets are plowed with a single drivable lane and residential crews salt and sand curves, hills, intersections and known slick spots.

  • How can I find out where streets have been cleared?

    The Public Works Department tracks its vehicles through a snow map, which shows locations in real time.

  • How many miles of streets are plowed?

    The City has approximately 6,400 lane miles of pavement surface. 2,400 lane miles are on the primary and arterial streets that connect neighborhoods and accommodate cross-town traffic. In residential areas, there are approximately 4,000 lane miles of streets.

  • How many vehicles does the City have on the streets during a winter storm?

    When fully staffed, the Public Works, Parks and Recreation and Water Services departments have approximately 200 vehicles on City streets. Of these, about 65 are pickup trucks assigned to residential routes.

  • What is the City’s budget for snow removal this year?

    The City has budgeted $2.75 million for snow removal this fiscal year.

  • What happens if all the money is spent before the snow season ends?

    Funds are available from the City’s contingency fund for snow removal.

  • How does the department prepare for a forecast winter storm?

    Forecasts are reviewed from three different sources and if a storm is evident, anti-icing will begin on designated streets before the storm hits if the weather is conducive (20 degrees or above and no rain). The crews are split into two 12-hour shifts to work the full length of the storm and if not already at work, are asked to report two hours before impending winter weather so they can be ready to begin their routes when the storm hits. The last shift working before the storm is responsible for mounting all plows and spreaders in preparation for the next shift.

  • What happens after a winter storm?

    • Emergency repairs to pavement and/or bridges damaged by snow/ice removal are made.
    • Response to slick calls from residents begins.
    • The equipment is prepared for the next storm.
    • Materials are replenished as needed to maintain needed supply levels.
    • Bridge decks are cleaned of chemicals.
  • What are the guidelines for clearing sidewalks of snow/ice?

    The City of Kansas City, Mo., reminds residents, businesses and organizations to clear sidewalks adjacent to their homes and offices. The City’s Municipal Code (Sec. 64-246) requires individuals owning or occupying property on streets, boulevards and highways to remove snow and ice from the sidewalks in front or alongside their property.

    While the code does provide provisions for fining residents, the City requests that residents and businesses clear sidewalks as a neighborly act to help pedestrians who rely on walking as a means of transportation to get to school, work and home.

  • Who plows the highways?

    The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) plows highways. Many streets in Kansas City are actually part of the highway system and plowing for them is MoDOT’s responsibility. A few of these streets are Bannister Road, Noland Road, Vivion Road, Antioch Road and part of Independence Avenue. The telephone number for MoDOT is (816) 622-6500.

  • What should people driving during a snowstorm do?

    If you don’t have to drive, don’t! However, if you must drive in severe winter weather, be prepared for the worst. Leave earlier so you can drive at a safe speed. Allow extra distance between your car and the one ahead of you in case something unexpected happens. Do not assume because you are exercising caution that other drivers are driving sensibly. Have some protective supplies (flashlight, blanket, jumper cables) in your car in case of a breakdown or an accident. Try to limit your driving in winter storms if at all possible; the fewer cars there are on the roads, the easier it is for snow removal to be done successfully.