Definitions and FAQs

Definitions and FAQs

The City of St. John's clears roads in five stages:

  1. Salting: spreading salt on all paved roads and designated sidewalks according to the weather conditions. We use on the average of 30,000 tons of salt per season to maintain the roads. It takes about three hours for the entire city to have a salt application.
  2. Plowing: moving snow to the sides of streets and sidewalks so it is possible for car and pedestrian traffic to resume quickly. There are 60 vehicles for plowing streets and sidewalks (sidewalk plows, graders, truck plows and front-end loaders). Plowing begins as soon as there is 3-5 cm of snow on the ground and continues until all streets are plowed. This can last several hours after the snow stops falling, depending on the snow load. Streets are plowed in order of priority.
  3. Widening: continuing with moving snow to the sides of streets so the driving area of road is wider. Widing starts after the snow fall of a storm has ended and continues for 24 hours. For storms with snow fall greater than 25 cm, or extreme snow accumulations, this time period is extended until all roads have been sufficiently widened.
  4. Blow-back: using a snow blower to move the snow from the street onto open areas such as your front lawn; often occurs during the widening process. We start blow-back operations on multi-lane roads then continue widening based on established priorities.
  5. Snow removal: completely removing snow from streets and sidewalks. Crews of 25 or more heavy equipment operators completely remove snow from the street and sidewalks. Snow removal is usually completed downtown, however any part of the city may be identified for snow removal if there is a significant amount of accumulation in the area.

When does the On-Street Parking Ban come into effect?
How to I know if my street is in the downtown area or the on-street parking ban area?
Why do I get a ticket for parking on the road if there's no snow or removal taking place?
Why do I get towed when the snow isn't removed from my downtown street?
I have a residential parking permit for downtown; does this exempt me from the snow clearing by-law?
Why can't the City remove snow that the plow pushed in my driveway?

When does the On-Street Parking Ban come into effect?
The On-Street Parking Ban is set to come into effect annually on the first Wednesday of January. However, it is being implemented early this year due to recent significant snowfalls and more in the forecast. The On-Street Parking Ban comes into effect at 12:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec.16, 2016.  Ensure your vehicle is off the street on Thursday evening, before midnight. Once implemented, the parking ban usually remains in effect until the end of the winter season. 
Learn more on the webpage Parking Restrictions.

How to I know if my street is in the downtown area or the on-street parking ban area?
Streets in the designated downtown area are outlined on this map. All other streets fall in the on-street parking ban area, except for those with snow route designation.

Why do I get a ticket for parking on the road if there's no snow or removal taking place?
Tickets are issued when the on-street parking ban is in effect. We need to keep vehicles off the streets so snow plowing operations can occur even in the event of an unexpected snowstorm or drifting condition.

Why do I get towed when the snow isn't removed from my downtown street?
Vehicles are towed from your street when a snow removal is scheduled. Staff that ticket and tow vehicles are different from those that remove snow, and this enforcement is done beginning at 12:30 a.m. Sometimes downtown streets that are scheduled for snow removal are not completed due to weather conditions, mechanical breakdowns or other factors beyond our control. 

I have a residential parking permit for downtown; does this exempt me from the snow clearing by-law?
No. The Snow Clearing By-Law applies to all vehicles, and your vehicle must be removed from your street when snow removal operations are scheduled for it.

Why can't the City remove snow that the plow pushed in my driveway?
There are more than 30,000 driveways in St. John's and the cost of removing snow from each one would be enormous and substantially increase the cost of snow clearing.