Columbia has more than 1,300 lane miles of streets and 1,100 cul-de-sacs maintained by Public Works. The sheer volume of cul-de-sacs and lane miles makes it necessary to prioritize roads during ice and snow events.
Over one-third of Columbia’s roads, almost 500 lane miles, are priority routes that create a network of major roads and residential streets that extend throughout the City towards as many neighborhoods as possible. They include such residential streets as Battle Avenue, Worley Street, Thornbrook Terrace and more. Their primary purpose is to ensure safe passageways to and from major highways, hospitals, schools, fire stations and commercial areas.
When a snowfall is less than 4 inches, crews focus on priority routes during normal business hours and will go into other residential areas if time and priority street conditions permit. If the snow exceeds 4 inches, crews will work around the clock to treat and plow every street in the City, beginning with priority routes, until they are deemed passable by snow inspectors. Although a street may still be snow packed, if at least one lane is accessible for a front-wheel-drive vehicle at a slow speed, the road is considered passable.
There is no parking allowed on priority routes when snow accumulates 2 inches or more. Parking Utility staff do their best to warn drivers, but vehicles will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense if they are not moved. To be reminded of when it’s time to move cars off of priority routes, sign up for alerts at Nixle.com or by texting the phrase COLUMBIAPW to 888777.
- Snow Fighting Summary – City Channel (Video)
- Snow Policies for 2 inches of Snow
- Snow Policies for 4 inches of Snow
- Snow Policies for Heavy Snowfall
- Sign up for Nixle Alerts
- What is a passable road?
- What is a Priority Neighborhood?
- Preparing for Snow Season – A Citizen’s Guide (pdf)
- Winter Weather Response for 2017/2018 Winter Season
- What is a Designated Snow Route/Priority Route?