Snow & Ice Operations

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Winter Parking Ban

A winter parking ban will be in effect from November 1 - April 1 annually. During this time, vehicles, there will be No Parking on public roads from 12am - 6am daily. In the event of a snowstorm, any vehicle impeding snow removal will be towed at the owner’s expense. Your cooperation with the parking ban is greatly appreciated and significantly contributes to the Highway Department’s ability to do its job in a timely and efficient manner.

Snow & Ice Operations

The Highway Department is responsible for the removal of snow from Town streets and parking lots. Snow operations include salting, sanding, and plowing. Post-storm operations may include scraping, pushing back, and hauling and removing snow piles. When snow removal operations occur outside of regular work time, Department employees are paid on an overtime basis.

During an average snowstorm of three to six inches, it takes approximately six hours to clean the Town’s streets after the snow has stopped. Post-storm activities address sanding and salting, drifting, cleanup, shoveling crosswalks in proximity to schools, clean up of school parking and municipal lots, and addressing requests. The Highway Dept. is NOT responsible for mailbox damage. Please secure boxes and posts properly.

Pre-storm preparation:

Before a snow storm starts, the Highway Department initiates its anti-icing operations by spreading salt and sand, first on the primary roads and school bus routes, followed by local roads. This prevents the snow from bonding and compacting to the pavement, allowing the traffic to continue moving. When fully operational, 3 anti-icing material spreader trucks are used for this operation.

National Weather Service-Forecast Information

Plowing Operations:

Plowing operations begin when there is a minimum of 2 inches of snow on the ground. The Highway Department has five vehicles equipped to plow snow. Each piece of equipment is assigned to a route and remains in that route until the storm ends. The main objective during the storm, is to keep the roads in a condition to be travelled.

Post-storm clean-up:

When a storm ends, our focus shifts toward pushing snow back toward the edge of the road. If snow banks need to be pushed back further due to heavy accumulation, we will continue to work on this continuously in the days following a storm, given the availability of personnel and equipment.

Our personnel are well-trained and prepared to work "around the clock" until clean-up is complete and roads are back to safe conditions for travel. Residents should not be alarmed if they do not see their road plowed during the early part of a snow storm. The Highway Department follows an assigned route plan whereby main roads are plowed first. Please be patient. All town roads will eventually be plowed.

How residents can help?

Residents can assist with storm response by:

  • Observing all winter parking bans.
  • Reduce your driving speed and drive cautiously.
  • Remain off the streets during storms, unless absolutely necessary.
  • Do not plow, blow, or throw snow into the road. (See Town By-law Article 8, Section 3)
  • For residents whose lawns are located within the Town’s right of way, we recommend installing reflectors at the edge of lawns to serve as a guide for plow operators and prevent damage to lawns by plowing operations. The Highway Department is not responsible for replacing damaged reflectors or sprinklers that are installed near the edge of the road.
  • Place mailboxes at the maximum allowable distance to the road. Anything installed within the Town’s right-of-way is placed there at the owner’s risk. The Highway Department does not deliberately damage mailboxes, nor will we reimburse residents for mailboxes damaged during plowing operations.

Before final clean-up of your driveway, check the road. If it does not appear to be widened out, a plow will be most likely returning to plow again and may push snow back into the entrance of the driveway. Double checking may prevent you from having to clear your driveway again.

*MassDOT Guidelines and Suggestions for Optimal Snow Clean-up of Driveways

*Sand is available for no charge for residents of Phillipston in the marked area in front of the Transfer Station.