Winter Operations

Winter Snow & Ice Conditions – result in a variety of plowing and treatment responses on Portland’s 320 miles of roadway.   Portland’s Department of Public Works crews and contractors field a variety of equipment to meet winter storm challenges.   During the winter months Public Works Dispatch office is open 24 hours a day and crews are assigned to shifts to respond 24/7 to weather events.   Major arterial roadways, hills and intersections are first treated often before plowing operations begin, usually when around 2” of snow falls.   Plow teams are assigned via geographic area and concentrate first on major roadways and connectors to move traffic along before heading into residential areas.   Plowing phases - the first response to winter snow & ice might be pre-treatment followed by deicing treatments before a full plowing operation begins. After the storm in the cleanup phase snowbanks are often pushed back to make room for future snow storms.  

How you can help - First, drive safely and ‘as needed’ during snow & ice events.    Reduce speed during snow & ice conditions.  Before driving- clear off ALL snow & ice from your vehicle including windows for better visibility.  

Park “off street” or in a nearby parking lot or garage during winter storms greatly helps us clear the snow from our roadways.  Please do not push or blow snow onto city streets and sidewalks from driveways and lots.  You can help us by clearing snow from nearby catch basins and fire hydrants when possible.  This greatly helps if snow turns to rain or wet weather follows.

Public Transportation & Car Pooling - Using public transportation or carpooling / ride sharing during Winter months helps to reduce traffic and on-street parking.

METRO Bus -  
ShuttleBus - ZOOM -
Bike Maine -
Casco Bay Lines  -     
Portland Trails  -

Winter Driving Tips 

Drive with caution and use slower speeds during inclement weather conditions, factor in slower commuting travel time.  Use care on hills and when approaching intersections always leave plenty of room to stop between vehicles.  (Consider public transportation & carpooling.)

SNOW EMERGENCY PARKING BAN -   A city-wide Parking Ban is called as needed to allow streets to be cleared of snow or ice conditions.   Parking Bans greatly help snowplowing operations clear snow from our city roadways. 


For additional information click the following link: 
Parking Bans

YELLOW BAN -    Typically follow large snow events where additional snow clearing is needed in Portland’s Downtown area.   Boundaries include:  Commercial Street to Cumberland Avenue / High. For additional information click on Yellow Ban.

You can find additional information about parking bans and winter operations :

Parking Ban Hotline:          879-0300  (call hotline 1st )
Public Works
Customer Service Center:    874-8493
Parking Department:            874-8443

Portland Public Works will be working around the clock to clear snow from the 320 miles of City streets. We encourage people to say home and off the streets during the height of the storm to facilitate these efforts. 

Stay Informed
Use our email notification service to generate a work request or to just ask a question! We look forward to hearing from you.


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