Seasonal Reminders – Snow

Snowplowing 101

The City strives to keep its roadways clear and safe as soon as bad weather hits.  It is very important to stay clear of snow removal equipment.  This can be extremely dangerous if the driver or operator cannot see you, especially considering a large snowplow weighs 17 times more than your automobile.  A safe practice is to follow at least 4-5 car lengths behind plow vehicles, and always give the driver plenty of room to do their job.

It is important to not allow your children to play in snow piles near the road.  Children get excited to tunnel through the large piles of snow left behind by plows.  These piles can collapse and trap children and passing snowplows could hit the pile injuring children inside.  Snow removal operations can be in effect at any time during the winter, so there really is no safe time to play in these piles.  Encourage children to use park facilities or backyards for their snow activities.

When We Plow:

The time snow removal begins depends on the start, and end times of the snowfall, and its intensity.  In a perfect situation snow plowing begins between 3-4am.  Streets are classified based on traffic volume.  The major streets are plowed first, followed by local streets which include neighborhoods and subdivisions, then followed by cul-de-sacs.

No Parking Rules:

No person shall park a vehicle between the hours of 2:00am and 6:00am on any street, provided this restriction shall not apply from April 2 through November 14, inclusive, of any year.


When any snow or ice shall cease to fall during the daylight hours, such snow or ice shall be cleared from the sidewalks within twenty-four (24) hours after such cessation.  When snow or ice shall have ceased during the night time, it shall be cleared from the sidewalks by 6:00pm of the following day.

Right-of-Way and Boulevards:

The road right-of-way and boulevards provide room for snow storage, utilities, sidewalks, street lights, signage, and other City uses.  No structural improvement, or planting (with the exception of the parkway tree planting program), should be installed in the City right of way or boulevard; The property owner assumes all risk of damage.  The City is not responsible for damage to irrigation systems, private lighting systems, trees, shrubs, rocks, fences, or similar landscaping installed in City right-of-ways or boulevards.

No person shall remove snow or ice from private property and deposit or leave it upon any public street, sidewalk, or any public way owned by another person.  No person shall deposit or leave snow or ice upon the property of another person without the permission of the other person.

For more information and a full list of City Ordinances regarding Snow Removal and Plowing (Chapter 4, Section 4.3), click here.

Mailbox Damage from Snow Plowing Policy

During snow and ice control operations, there is a potential for mailboxes to be damaged either by direct contact with City equipment or by snow being cast by City plows. It is essential that the City clears the entire width of the roadway to enable traffic flow, drainage and access to mailboxes. The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines to be followed for the repair and/or replacement of mailboxes damaged by City equipment during snow removal operations.

Repairs and Replacement Limited to Damage from City Equipment:

The City of Rockford will not be responsible for the repair and/or replacement of any mailbox or post unless the damage was a direct result of the City’s snow removal equipment. Damage caused by private contractors, private vehicles, accidents not involving City equipment, or from an unknown cause will not be repaired by the City. Snow being cast by City plows will not be covered under snow removal equipment.

Notification of a broken mailbox and/or post must be provided and presented to the Public Services Department within 5 days of damage for repair or replacement by the City. Landscaping, Sprinkler systems and planting materials added to the parkway or around mailboxes will be the sole responsibility of the property owner. The City will not reimburse the owner for damage done to landscaping placed in the right-of-way resulting from City operations.

Proper Installation of Mailboxes:

The placement of the mailbox, with respect to the back of the curb, is important and has a direct impact on the potential for damage.  The U. S. Post Office sets a standard on installation guidelines. Boxes that are missing doors, loose, rusty or not attached properly may be damaged easily by pushed snow and will not be replaced by the city.

A mailbox that is repaired or replaced should be placed 48 inches high from the road level where the Mail Carriers vehicle tire sets, to the bottom of the mail receptacle. If you have a box with a press box under it, measure to the mailbox, not the press box. The mailbox needs a setback of 6” behind the edge of curb.

Mailbox Replacement:

If a mailbox has been damaged by City equipment during snow and ice control operations to the extent that it cannot be used for mail delivery, the City will provide and place a temporary mailbox until a permanent replacement can be installed. The resident must initiate this service by contacting the Public Services Department. The replacement box and/or post will be of a standard type selected by the City. The City will not attempt repairs or replace custom mailboxes.

If the resident or property owner elects not to have the mailbox and/or post replaced by the City using standard materials, the resident may complete the replacement or repairs himself/herself. With the prior approval of the City, the resident may present the receipt for the replacement of the mailbox and be reimbursed up to a maximum value of $50. Reimbursement by the City is limited to one time per season.

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