Snow plows are sent out when snow or ice accumulation creates slippery road conditions.

Plowing Priority 

There is a priority ranking system that governs which streets in Iowa City are plowed first. All streets in Iowa City are categorized which determines their priority for clearing during snow plowing operations:

  1. First priority - main thoroughfares and bus routes
  2. Second priority - heavily traveled streets and steeper grade streets
  3. Third priority - flat residential streets

If you want to know when snow plows will get to your street, view the Iowa City Snow Route map.

Residents can be assured that when snowfall accumulates, the Streets Division will do its best to plow all streets as soon as possible in order of priority, but severity of storms can greatly tax equipment and human resources.

If snow accumulation is minimal and plowing is not necessary, salt and sand may still be applied to prevent slippery conditions.

Street Parking & Snow Plowing 

You can help by keeping parked cars off streets during and after snow storms. Parked cars are an obstacle to clearing the street well, and also pose a hazard that plows must maneuver around. Your street will be plowed more thoroughly if there are fewer cars parked on the street.

In 2008, the City Council approved a Snow Emergency Ordinance. This ordinance is designed to limit on-street parking during a snow emergency to allow plows to access and clear the entire street during extreme winter storms. This ordinance has major effects on those who park their vehicles on city streets.

Please note the details of the Snow Emergency Ordinance to avoid ticketing and towing.  

Private Snow Removal Rules 

Remember: It is illegal to deposit snow from private property onto public streets.

Snow shoveled or plowed from driveways, parking lots or sidewalks shall not be piled on public streets or another's private property. Violators will be ticketed and fined.

Snow Plowing Resources