Sidewalk Snow Removal

A partnership between the City and residents

The property owner's responsibility:
Per City Code, it is the responsiblity of property owners to remove snow from the sidewalk in front of their property. For people with physical disabilities, even 1 inch of snow on the sidewalk can drastically impede movement. Please clear the snow so all can go!

The City's role:
The City of Rochester provides supplemental service to help property owners clear their sidewalks during a substantial winter storm. The City plows sidewalks when 4 inches of new snow has accumulated.

Sidewalk snow plowing facts

  • The City plows sidewalks when 4” of new snow has freshly fallen, dependent upon weather events and forecasts, and the condition of the sidewalks.
  • The City plows all sidewalks that are at least five feet in width.
  • Each sidewalk plow run takes about five hours to complete.
  • The City plows 878 miles of sidewalks. These miles are divided into distinct sidewalk plow runs of approximately 15 miles.
  • Depending on the severity of a storm, sidewalk snow plowing policies must sometimes be altered to meet the needs of the situation.
  • The City uses private contractors to plow sidewalks.
  • Sidewalk plowing usually happens in the evening and early morning when pedestrian traffic is lowest, but this schedule is modified to respond to actual storm conditions.


Sidewalk snow plowing is financed by an embellishment fee on your property tax bill that is based on the front footage of a property. Please see Embellishment Charges for Local Works for additional information.