Plowing Policy

As Hearst Connecticut’s media editor, John Schwing sends out interesting info coming directly from — or supplemental to — Hearst papers (including the Westport News).

John (@SchwingPost) just tweeted this “Snowplowing Policy.” Posted on, our town’s official website, it says:

There are 123 miles of streets in Westport maintained by the Department of Public Works (DPW). Snow removal can cost up to $2500 per hour, therefore, it is important for DPW to use its resources wisely with cooperation from the residents to provide the appropriate response while minimizing the cost.

PLOW ROUTES – The streets are plowed and sanded in order of priority. Main (collector) roads are addressed first with special attention to steep hills and difficult intersections. Side streets are done next, then deadend streets. A single pass will be made on side streets to keep them open, but primary emphasis will be placed on main roads until the storm has stopped. This may not seem fair to the residents of side streets or deadend streets, but main roads must remain open.

A plow crosses the Post Road bridge, early in Friday's blizzard. (Photo by Paul Schott/Westport News)

A plow crosses the Post Road bridge, early in Friday’s blizzard. (Photo by Paul Schott/Westport News)

BLOCKED DRIVEWAYS – All snow plows angle the same way – to the driver’s right. When going by they cannot avoid pushing the snow in front of a driveway. The homeowner is responsible for access to his driveway. The only way to avoid extra shoveling is to wait until DPW crews have completed their final clean up on the street.

SIDEWALKS – Per town ordinance, businesses are responsible for keeping all sidewalks along their property clear of snow and ice.

MAILBOX DAMAGE – The town repairs or replaces only mailboxes and/or posts that are actually struck by a plow blade. Usually a paint mark or tire tracks supply evidence of a mailbox strike. The town does not repair or replace mailboxes and/or posts that fall from the force of plowed snow. Mailboxes and supporting posts must be installed to withstand the rigors of snow removal, including the force of snow pushed from the street onto the roadside.

PRIVATE PLOWING – The town prohibits plow contractors from pushing snow from driveways or parking lots onto town streets. This practice is dangerous and impedes the town’s snow removal efforts. If there is no other alternative to pushing snow into the street, the plow driver must plow off the windrow left across the street by re-plowing until the road is safe. This may not necessarily mean bare pavement, but certainly it should be no worse than when the driver began work.

Residents who have a question or complaint should call Public Works at (203) 341-1120.

16 responses to “Plowing Policy

  1. Seems reasonable.

    • Things seem pretty good out there….as long as people take it easy. Fingers crossed for school tomorrow.

  2. Just an old Westporter

    Yes, it does sound resonable until you see the Llibrary was plowed and then the Gatsby event was cancelled. Did the Library use the Town Maintenance Dept for clearing their parking lot? If so I think that was a waste of worktime whe roads could of been cleared. I wonder I high that was on the proiorty list?

  3. Many main roads were still a mess this morning.

  4. Our 1st Selectman said that all major roads were clear as of noon on Saturday. There are five major north-south roads in town: Wilton Road; Compo Road; Roseville Road; North Avenue; Bayberry Lane. Bayberry was impassable at noon on Saturday. Anyonw know why Bayberry seems to have been neglected?

  5. Looks to me like Westports doing a great job. Try driving through Fairfield.

  6. U. Zooelly N. Trouble

    Gatsby would have had the party anyway. Nothing can keep Dr. K away from a teachable moment, not rain, snow, darkness or gloom of night.

  7. Fairfield and Bridgeport are an absolute mess. Those complaining about Westport have clearly not driven over there.

    • Or those complaining have a higher standard than Fairfield or Bridgeport.

      • Westport is NOTHING compared to Fairfield…and the town is directly next to us.

        I praise our own town for being diligent and efficient. If you’re up for it, I encourage you to drive over the line and see the difference. You’ll notice it immediately.

  8. The I-95 is ugly …. banks of snow gobbling up the fast lane and breakdown lanes… on and off ramps have little visibility and no room for speeding up or slowing down… most drivers are still aiming for 70 mph … plows block outer lanes at random…. And into the mix tomorrow: ice and a surge in commuter traffic. It’s going to be a fearful mess.

    • Dear Dreadful,

      Sunday late morning we took I-95 from Exit 18 south (or west) going to Nassau County. It was as if nothing happened — 3 lanes in each direction, pavement – clear and practically dry, cars going their usual 75 – 80 mph (but not me). Return was the same. We’ve been visiting family in Nassau for decades, and Sunday was probably our best commute.

      I have no idea what the condition of I-95 toward the north (east).


        Dreadful: Don’t know what part of I-95 you were talking about but I had the same smooth ride (as Fil above) from Exit 17 to the NYS line and onto 287, and back. I was highly impressed with the condition of the highway; it was if we never had a storm! Especially like the fact that the traffic was light, both at 11 AM and 7 PM (coming home.) Kudos to the crews for doing such an excellent, fast job!

        • Neither of you ventured north, outside of your comfy bubble. It seems. Once you hit Southport on 95, it all changes.


            He didn’t say where he ventured, Jim, and I stated that. As far as my “comfy bubble,” I ventured up to the Hudson River in Peekskill, NY and roads were not as clean as I-95,…and they got 1/2 the snow Westport got! Again, kudos to the plow crews in lower CT!