Snow & Ice Guidelines

Department of Public Works Winter Message

Winter storms can test the patience of Reading residents, motorists, pedestrians, and snowplow operators. The Department of Public Works is committed to keeping the streets open, the traffic moving, and returning the Town's streets and sidewalks to a safe condition as quickly as possible. The following information is designed to increase awareness about Reading's Snowplowing and Snow Removal program, and to encourage everyone's cooperation in helping us achieve that goal. The Reading DPW appreciates your patience and understanding during the winter months.

The Reading DPW maintains over 200 lane miles of roads in the community during the winter months, salting during ice and freezing rain storms, and plowing the snow off roadways during more significant storms. The Town of Reading's snow and ice plan follows clearly identified routes when removing snow and ice from streets, sidewalks and School and Town parking areas. In addition to the Town's fleet, the Department utilizes the services of local contractors. The Reading DPW strives to ensure the safest possible conditions during and after winter storm events. Plows will continue to clean, treat, and widen roadways until reasonably safe conditions are met. Please keep in mind that plows and sanders are still hard at work well after the snow has stopped falling.

Getting ready to clean the streets.
  1. Pre-Treating Snowplowing & Salting
  2. Snow & Ice Control
  3. Sidewalk Plowing
  4. Fire Hydrants & Catch Basins
  5. Driveways
  6. Mailboxes
  7. Objects in the Roadway
  8. Parking
  9. Snow Removal for the Downtown Area
  10. Trash & Recycle Collection
  11. Winter Sand
  12. Children at Play

DPW crews will be on the roadways as soon as it is necessary. Response time will depend on several factors: the moisture of the snow, timing and duration of the storm, and whether the storm has freezing rain and blowing snow. Snow has different weight and compacting properties. A fluffy, dry snow requires less salt and plowing than a heavy wet snow. Wet snow may result in very slippery conditions especially when the snow freezes on the pavement. The timing of a storm can also determine when crews will begin their cleanup. During high commuting times, crews will make every effort to keep the major roadways clear of snow and ice. Secondary and side streets will be cleared as soon as possible. Top priority will be given to the heavily traveled roads to ensure everyone's safety. Snow that falls on these roads often becomes packed by cars, making it more difficult to scrape off. During evening and early morning storms, DPW crews start early to prepare the roads for the commuting hours. The duration of the storm plays an important role in snowplowing and salting operations. Storms of extended duration require all available resources (salt, equipment, employees, and contractors) to keep roads open over an extended period of time. Four inches of snow that falls over a 24-hour period will require more salt and manpower hours than six inches of snow that falls over an 8-hour period. Motorists and pedestrians are advised to stay off the roadways until the pavement can be treated.

Sidewalk Plowing Map