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Snow Plowing 101

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Sometimes we love it. Sometimes we hate it. But snow is unavoidable...

The ABC's of Plowing

  • Arterial, collector streets, business and commercial areas are plowed first
  • Residential streets and neighborhoods are plowed once four inches, or more, of snow has accumulated on the street
  • Yellow city plows will return to plow the arterial and collector streets as more snow accumulates, before moving on to residential areas. The arterial and collector streets may be plowed several times in one day
  • Not all roads are plowed by the City of Bozeman:
    • N. 19th, N 7th, N. Rouse, and Main Street/Huffine Lane are designated state roadways. These roadways are plowed and maintained by the orange Montana Department of Transportation Plows. For questions or concerns about these state roadways call (406) 556-4700
    • Streets with BLUE  Street signs or streets marked PRIVATE are managed by an HOA or employ a private plow company. Contact your HOA for more information.
    • MSU Campus streets are maintained by MSU Facilities which can be reached at (406) 994-2107

What can YOU do to help keep our city streets and sidewalks safe this winter?

  1. Do not use the city streets for winter storage of vehicles, trailers, boats or RV's
  2. Park off the street whenever possible
  3. Move your car when it snows to facilitate plowing
  4. Clear your sidewalk after each snowfall

Grader snow gate carrying snow

Parking Preparation

  • The City of Bozeman requires that all vehicles parked on city streets move every 72 hours. The Parking Services Division enforces this regulation by issuing citations. View Municipal Code
  • Whenever possible, please park your car off of city streets
  • Planning to be out of town for a long period of time? Arrange to park your car off of city streets to avoid being ticketed and/or towed
  • For any about parking please contact the Parking Services Department at (406) 582-2903

Shoveling Your Sidewalk

  • Sidewalk clearing is the responsibility of EACH homeowner or business owner.
  • Residential sidewalks must be clear within 24 hours of snowfall and commercial sidewalks must be clear by 9AM  View Municipal Code

The Nuts and Bolts of Equipment 

  • City snow plows are on call 24/7 to keep streets safe during the winter months. During a snow event city snow plows will start plowing as early as 3 AM and will continue throughout the day
  • City Street Department uses a variety of equipment to keep the streets clear and safe
    • Yellow Snow Plows: Remove snow and spread a sand/salt mixture at intersections and stop signs
      • Sand/salt is spread to provide as much traction as possible But, please, make sure to drive safely and allow yourself extra room when approaching a stop sign or intersection.
      • Salt is added so the sand pile will not freeze and will distribute onto the roadway
    • Motor graders: Graders have special “snow gates” that drop down before driveways, mailboxes, and intersections to minimize the “plowing in” of these areas. If there is heavy and/or particularly deep snow, some snow may still topple over the snow gate. Parked cars near driveways and mailboxes will hinder the graders ability to effectively clear snow. Parked cars will cause the graders to leave snow that they are unable to reach and remove.
    • Mini loader: Used in tandem with motor graders (as staffing allows) Used to help clear driveways and mailboxes when the snow topples over the snow gate
    • Ice slicer truck: Distributes salt with an anti-corrosive additive. This truck is used in the downtown area: Mendenhall & Babcock between 11th to Wallace, Olive and Lamme.


 See below for Interactive Snow Removal Route map. 



View full size mapping application

Snow Removal Map (PDF)