Snow Removal Information

Snow Policy

The purpose of the City of Council Bluffs Snow and Ice Control Policy (also available en español) is to provide direction and standards for efficient and cost-effective snow and ice removal operations on the 675 lane miles of city streets.

  • The City does not plow alleys, sidewalks, or driveways unless part of city-owned property.
  • Driveways may be blocked during snow removal operations. We attempt to minimize this as much as possible; however, property owners are still responsible for clearing their driveways. Snow from a private driveway may not be placed on a city street.
  • Residents are responsible for clearing snow around the property’s mailbox and for clearing and maintaining a place free of snow and ice for garbage and recycling containers.

Snow Routes

The city is divided into 29 separate snow routes, which include 18 emergency routes and 11 residential routes. Priorities are established using the assumption that the severity of a storm is not beyond the normal capabilities of the City’s snow removal resources. Depending on the nature of the snowstorm, deviations could occur. The established priorities are as follows:

  • 1st PRIORITY: Emergency snow routes – These consist of main streets, hospitals, schools, and areas of business and in some cases extend into areas of hills. Crews will remain on these routes until snow has subsided and these routes remain clear.
  • 2nd PRIORITY: All other residential streets
  • 3rd PRIORITY: City-owned sidewalks, parking lots, and trails

Emergency snow routes are designated with a blue “Emergency Snow Route” sign.

Emergency Snow Route Map
Emergency Snow Route List

With the exception of emergency requests from police dispatchers, individual requests for snow removal cannot be taken.

Parking Bans

The Mayor may declare a ban on on-street parking when weather and street conditions warrant. Under such declaration, cars parked on designated streets during a snow removal effort may be ticketed and/or towed. The Police Department will be notified when the parking ban is initiated. Residents will be notified in advance of parking bans through the use of local media including newspaper, radio, television, social media, and other City resources. 

  • SNOW EMERGENCY: Snow emergency routes will always be first priority. There will be no parking allowed on snow emergency routes when a snow emergency is declared.
  • ODD-EVEN PARKING BAN: City plows cannot properly maneuver and clear many streets and cul-de-sacs due to cars parked on both sides. During a declared odd-even parking ban, cars must park on the odd number side of the street on odd calendar dates and the even number side of the street on even calendar dates. This will affect only streets that currently allow parking on both sides of the street.
  • NO PARKING ON CUL-DE-SACS: This parking ban will go into affect along with the odd-even parking ban and will remain in effect until the cul-de-sac is plowed from curb to curb or edge of road shoulders.

Sidewalks

It is the responsibility of property owners to remove all snow from sidewalks adjacent to their private property within twenty-four (24) hours after the snow has fallen or ice formed. 

  • Due to the location of some sidewalks and the volume of snow being moved, there will be occasions where the street plowing operation may deposit additional snow onto the sidewalks. It is still the responsibility of the property owner to remove all snow from their sidewalk.
  • Blowing or shoveling snow into the street is a violation of City ordinance.
  • The property owner of a corner lot is to keep access ramps open for pedestrian travel.
  • For emergency access, please expose fire hydrants that are not visible.
  • Complaints about private sidewalks not being cleared should be made to the Right-of-Way division of the Public Works Department at 712-890-5296. 

Sign up for the Pottawattamie County Emergency Notification System to receive weather-related alerts.