City of Joliet Winter Snow Event Guidelines

As the winter season approaches and the possibility of winter snow storms increase, residents are reminded of the City of Joliet Snow Removal Policies and Actions for the 2015/2016 winter season.   Please take caution during any snow storm if you need to be driving on the roadways.  If at all possible, please remain home during the time when it is snowing.

It is unavoidable for City of Joliet snow plows to push snow on sidewalks at all intersection corners during cleanup operations.  It shall be the responsibility of the adjacent residential/ business owner to remove these snow berms from the corners of intersections.

Snow Parking Ban

On-street parking is prohibited by City Ordinance 16900, Section 19-142, for any snowfall accumulations of 2 inches or more.  Parked cars are an obstacle to the snow plows. In addition, plowing around parked cars leaves large areas of snow and ice on the roadway.  Once the snow plow trucks have cleared the street by your home or business, you may move your vehicle back to the street.   Some older neighborhoods in Joliet do not have adequate off-street parking options.  In those areas residents are encouraged to seek permission from neighbors who have off-street parking spaces and other parking options such as commercial or church parking lots that will allow streets to be clear of vehicles for all snow clearing efforts to be effective.  The Joliet Police Department will have the option of issuing a parking ticket to the owner of a vehicle left on a city street during a snow event as well as having the option of having the vehicle towed, or both.  All towing and storage costs will be the responsibility of the vehicle owner.

During Snowfall Events:  The City of Joliet Roadways Division will mobilize its crews when there is a measurable accumulation of snowfall or if the winter mix is causing a hazardous driving situation such as freezing rain.  The Roadways Division is responsible for over 500 miles of roadway with a fleet of 37 snow plow trucks and a crew of 37 employees.  Joliet has a goal of clearing all streets within 24 hours after the snow stops falling.  Heavier snows often take longer to clear. Due to the volume of streets to be cleared of snow, and the staffing and equipment available, Roadways crews will not return to streets where parked vehicles were not moved when the plow came through the first time during snow removal operations.  Crews will return during normal working hours after all streets have been cleared.

Streets:  Street plowing operations are performed in the following order:

  1. Major Arterials, hospital routes, hills, and the bridges
  2. Subdivision mains and collector streets
  3. All remaining subdivision streets
  4. Cul-de-sacs and dead ends
  5. The City does NOT plow alleys

Due to the cost of de-icing materials, it is the Roadways Division Policy to utilize salt on major arterials and subdivision mains at intersections and mid blocks only and utilize a mixture of salt and sand at the intersections only on the subdivision streets.  Therefore, it should not be expected that these streets would immediately be clear to pavement.  A mixture of sun and traffic is utilized to help with the de-icing procedures.  Some snow is left on the street after plowing because allowances must be made for manhole lids and other above-pavement obstacles to avoid damaging snow plow blades.  When plowing is required, snow “berms” are created across driveways.  The plow operators do not have control over the wind-row of snow coming off the edge of the blade.  The Roadways Division tries to keep this problem to a minimum.  The residents of Joliet need to be patient and recognize that during the winter months there will be some inconvenience.

Shoveling Guidelines

  • Commercial property owners are responsible for plowing commercial parking lots, driveways, and public sidewalks adjoining their businesses.
  • Residential property owners are responsible for shoveling or plowing public sidewalks adjoining their homes.
  • Shoveling snow into the street is a City Code violation.
  • Shovel out fire hydrants that are in or around your property and around meters to aid utility meter readers.
  • Clear sidewalks of snow for the safety of pedestrians and children walking to school.
  • Uncover your mailbox and create a path for postal vehicles to pull up to mailboxes.
  • Help your neighbors. For many residents, age or medical conditions make it difficult to shovel snow.

Mailboxes:  The City of Joliet snow fighters make every effort to clear the roads from curb to curb where cars are not parked on the street.  In many cases of wet snow, the snow or plow blade may damage/remove mailboxes that are set close to the street.  This is unavoidable.  Mailbox damage complaints will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.  The City of Joliet will not reimburse for any mailbox damage on improperly located mailboxes.  The standard and accepted mailbox placement should be 42 inches measured from the ground surface to the bottom of the mailbox.  The mailbox should be located so the front of the box is no closer than 6 inches from the back of curb.  Any questions regarding the placement of mailboxes should be directed to the Joliet Post Office at 815-773-1089.

Winter Preparedness Kits


  • Cell phone and charger
  • Blankets/sleeping bag
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • High calorie non-perishable food
  • Extra clothing
  • Windshield scraper
  • Battery booster cable
  • GPS or maps

Work and Home:

  • Battery powered NOAA weather radio
  • Extra food and water
  • Extra prescription medication
  • First aid supplies
  • Emergency heat source (wood stove, fireplace, space heater)
  • Food, water, and shelter for pets

If you must travel, make sure your gas tank is full and you have a survival kit in your vehicle.  Tell your family and friends where you are going, the roads you plan on taking, and your expected time of arrival.  If you become stranded on the road during a winter storm call for help. Do not try to walk to safety.  Stay in your vehicle and attach a cloth to the antenna or window to indicate you need help.  Turn on the dome light and flashers to make your vehicle more noticeable.

James D. Hock

City Manager


The City of Joliet is the fourth largest city in the state of Illinois, located just 45 miles southwest of Chicago’s Loop.  Home to over 147,000 residents, in addition to thriving businesses and attractions, the City of Joliet is easily accessible by rail, auto and bus transit. A perfect place to live, work and play, Joliet is constantly striving to promote growth and diversity.  For more information on Joliet visit  or call 815-724-4000. The City of Joliet’s Media Releases are always available on our website.