Somerville Snow Procedures



Residents are advised to read the below procedures carefully.

The responsibility for keeping the community safe and our road and transportation network accessible during winter weather is shared by the
City and its residents. We urge you to do your part for yourselves, your neighbors, individuals pushing strollers or using wheelchairs or other mobility devices, and pedestrians. Doing your part is the neighborly thing to do, it’s the law, and it will help you avoid a fine for non-compliance.

We do our part by following the City’s snow removal and snow emergency policies, which are designed to clear streets quickly and effectively during a storm and to provide open, passable streets during and after the storm.

When Will a Snow Emergency Be Declared?
A snow emergency may be declared when four or more inches of snow are predicted. However all weather factors and ground conditions will be weighed and may necessitate decisions that deviate from this norm.
Residents have four hours after the snow declaration to move their cars. Ticketing and towing will begin four hours after the declaration. (More on ticketing and towing below.) Towing before the snow actually hits the ground is necessary to ensure clear streets for the plows.
It is strongly advised that residents move their cars as soon as an emergency is declared.
How will I Know a Snow Emergency has been declared?

The Communications Department will notify the community of the snow emergency in the following ways: citywide alerts issued by phone, email, and text message to subscribed users of the City alert system; announcements via City Cable TV on Channel 22 (for Comcast customers) and Channel 13 (for RCN customers); notification of all major broadcast channels and radio stations and local media; postings to social media including Facebook and Twitter; and an alert on the City homepage at
The Somerville Police will make loudspeaker announcements from their vehicles, warning residents to move their cars.
Residents may call 311 or the 24-hour Snow Line at 617-628-SNOW (7669) to find out when an emergency is in effect.
Residents are advised to sign up to receive an email and/or telephone or text message alert.
Flashing blue lights at major intersections will be activated at soon as an emergency is declared, and will remain flashing until the emergency is over.
Social Media
Parking, Ticketing and Towing Rules During a Snow Emergency

Parking is allowed on the odd-numbered side of the street only unless otherwise posted. Residents with cars on the even side of the street must either move their cars to the odd side or, if they cannot find a space, move to another location (available city lots listed below)
Ticketing of cars parked on the even-numbered side of the street will commence on all streets four hours after the emergency is declared
Towing of cars parked on the even-numbered side of the street will also commence four hours after the emergency is declared. If your car is towed you may retrieve it from Pats Towing 617-776-5810
Fines during a snow emergency:
Failure to Move Car to Proper Side of Street: $100
Tow Zone/Obstructing Snow Plow: $100
Within 10 ft. of Hydrant/Designated Fire Lane: $100
Within 20 ft. of an Intersection: $100
Off-Street Parking Lots Open During a Snow Emergency

Residents may park in the designated areas listed below during a snow emergency. Once the snow emergency is lifted, vehicles must be removed within two hours, regardless of posted signage. Vehicles parked in municipal and school lots must be cleared and properly plowed.
Argenziano School (290 Washington St.)
Brown School (201 Willow Ave.)
Capuano Early Childhood Center (150 Glen St.)
Cummings School (42 Prescott St.)
East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.)
Healey School (5 Meacham St.)
Kennedy School (5 Cherry St.)
West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powder House Blvd.)
Winter Hill Community School (115 Sycamore St.)
Municipal Buildings
Central Library (79 Highland Ave.)
City Hall Concourse (93 Highland Ave.)
West Branch Library (40 College Ave.
All metered municipal parking lots
Municipal Parking Lots
Beuna Vista Lot Buena Vista Road (via Holland St. or Meacham Rd.)
Cutter Square Lot (Elm St./Summer St. at Cutter Ave.)
Day Street Lot (Day Street)
Foss Park Lot (Foss Park at Broadway)
Grove Street Lot A (Grove St. at Highland Ave, referred to as “Rite Aid Lot”)
Grove Street Lot B (Grove St. east side, between Highland Ave. & Elm St., “Grove Street Lot”)
Kiley Barrel/Prospect St. Municipal Lot (corner of Prospect St. and Somerville Ave., opposite Ricky’s Flowers in Union Square)
Magoun Square Lot (Broadway at Medford St.)
Mount Vernon St. Lot (Broadway between Mount Vernon St. and Mt. Pleasant St.)
Union Square Lot/SCATV Lot (Off Washington St., entrance at Washington St./Bonner Ave.)
Veterans Memorial Skating Rink (rear 581 Somerville Ave.)
Winter Hill Lot A (Broadway, north side between Fellsway West and Wheatland St.)
Winter Hill Lot B (Broadway, north side between Wheatland St. and Grand St.)
Click here to view an interactive map of the off-street parking locations.

Parking, Ticketing and Towing Rules After a Snow Emergency

Permit parking enforcement resumes twenty-four hours after the snow emergency has been lifted. It is the responsibility of the resident to clean off their vehicle and ensure their Residential or Visitor parking permit is visible. Parking Control Officers are not authorized to remove snow from any vehicle. If the permit is not visible, the vehicle WILL be ticketed for a Permit Parking Violation.

City Ordinance restricts any vehicle from remaining in the same space on any street for a period exceeding 48 hours. This violation will be strictly enforced on both the odd and even sides of the street 48 hours after the snow emergency has been lifted. Failure to comply will result in the ticketing and potential towing of the vehicle.
Residents may NOT put objects on the street to reserve parking spaces.
Sec. 12-18. – Obstacles in streets or sidewalks at night.


No person shall leave any vehicle or any other obstacle or article on any sidewalk or in any public or private way, or place any obstruction in any street at any time, without first obtaining a permit from the commissioner of public works and causing such obstacle, article or obstruction to be lighted and guarded to his or her satisfaction.


Any person to whom a permit is given may be required by the commissioner of public works to furnish security by a bond as provided in section 12-14 for not less than $1,000.00 to protect the city against all liability and loss arising out of such obstruction.


A violation of this section shall result in a fine in accordance with the provisions of section 1-11. Each day the violation exists shall constitute a separate and new violation. This section may be enforced by the commissioner of public works or his or her designee or by any police officer.


This section shall not apply to construction dumpsters. Construction dumpsters are regulated in section 12-77 of this Code.

(Code 1963, § 12-8; Ord. No. 2003-12, 7-10-2003; Ord. No. 2005-11, § 26, 7-14-2005; Ord. No. 2006-09, § P, 4-11-2006; Ord. No. 2009-15, § A, 11-12-2009)

Cross reference— Licenses, permits and miscellaneous business regulations, Ch. 8.

Plowing Procedures

The streets will be treated with salt and sand once the snow begins.
Plowing will begin after two inches of snow has fallen.
Main roads, cross streets, bus routes and the “hospital hills” will be plowed first
Plows will be sent out in tandem, where applicable, to plow to the curb on the even side on the street.
Homeowner’s Responsibilities for sidewalks

How do I participate in the council on aging’s snow shoveling referral program?

Homeowners must shovel, salt or sand their sidewalks when it snows.
Homeowners have six hours between sunrise and sunset after the snow stops to shovel sidewalks.
Homeowners are not allowed to shovel snow into the street.
Not complying with these provisions could result in a $25.00 fine for the 1st offense, $50 for the 2nd and $100 for each subsequent offense

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