Snow Removal Policy

The City of Northville Public Works Department routinely provides snow and ice control services on City streets. This work is performed following a priority pattern designed to provide service to the greatest number of motorists where the need is the most crucial. The street system maintained by the City includes 6.5 miles of "Major Streets", almost 18 miles of "Local Streets" and several alleys. The City does not maintain county primary roads, which include Eight Mile Road, Seven Mile Road, Novi Road, South Main Street and North Griswold. These streets are maintained by Wayne/Oakland County Road Commissions.

Priorities for Snow Plowing and Ice Control Service on City streets
  1. Major streets such as Main Street, Center Street, Randolph Street and Taft Road.
  2. Local streets with steep grades and sharp curves.
  3. Parking lots and the remainder of the local residential streets and courts.
  4. Alleys and cemetery roads.

The City has a "Bare Pavement" policy for number "1" and "2" priority streets. This means that these streets will be plowed and salted to bare pavement within 24 hours of a snow or ice event, even if it requires overtime for City forces to do so. The City’s snow removal and ice control efforts may vary due to the severity of the storm event. A sleet storm would be primarily an ice control operation involving salt spreaders. A snowfall less than 4" would result in the dispatch of salt spreaders and plow trucks to number "1" and "2" priority streets. Number "3" and "4" priority streets may not be plowed or salted for this relatively small amount of snow. Larger Snows (4" to 8") would show an initial concentration on the number "1" and "2" priority streets with an ongoing effort to keep them open during the snow event and additional effort applied to number "3" and "4" priority streets. Overtime plowing and ice control would begin on flatter local streets (priority "3") once the accumulations reach approximately 4" and the major streets are completed. Parking lots generally are plowed through the night or early in the morning before stores are open. It is extremely difficult to plow parking lots during the day when they are parked full or partially full, so this is avoided unless absolutely necessary.

To effectively provide snow and ice control, the Department uses snow plowing in conjunction with the application of road salt. Rock salt, even with its known environmental drawbacks, is still the principal element used for ice control purposes. Occasionally, sand is mixed with salt or calcium chloride to increase traction during ice storms or periods of extreme cold. However, the use of sand is generally avoided as it tends to fill and clog storm drains. Sand works better on rural roads.

The City of Northville is aware there is growing public concern regarding environmental impacts associated with the use of road salt for snow and ice control purposes. Even with known environmental concerns, studies conducted by the Federal Highway Administration concluded that salt is still the most effective means of snow and ice control for roadways and sidewalks. The City of Northville salts number "1" and "2" priority streets (bare pavement policy streets), along with intersections, curves and hills on number "3" priority streets. 

Residents and businesses should remember to clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of a snow or ice event. You may not push snow or ice into or across City streets, which may result in a fine. 

During snow plowing, the snow must be pushed to the side of the road. If you have a neighbor who is unable to remove the snow from their driveway or in front of their mail boxes, please assist them, as the City does not have the resources or the manpower to clear drive approaches or mail boxes. We ask for your understanding and cooperation.