Snow Removal Priorities

City crews treat and plow primary roads (which include snow emergency routes) followed by secondary routes (including hills). After these priorities are addressed, crews will begin plowing residential streets.

Page updated on Dec 6, 2016 at 4:07 PM

To check on the plowing priority and status of your street and/or submit a concern, use the City’s SnowReport tracking system or call 703.746.HELP (4357).

Primary Routes

Primary routes are our first priority for plowing and applying materials. Primary routes are the major streets and snow emergency routes that run throughout the city and near schools and hospitals. Plow trucks are first assigned to primary routes and then move quickly to secondary routes. 

Secondary Routes

Secondary routes include local and neighborhood streets and most Metro and DASH bus routes. Plowing of these routes often occurs in tandem with or closely after the plowing of some primary routes. Depending on the severity of the storm, Metro and DASH may offer limited service or temporarily shut down.

Intermediate Routes

Intermediate routes include any streets requiring special attention in snowy conditions (such as steep hills) that are not currently classified as Primary or Secondary routes. Intermediate routes also include a few smaller residential streets that are more commercial in use (i.e. service several businesses and/or industrial buildings). Plowing of these routes often occurs in tandem with or closely after the plowing of some secondary routes. Upon completion of intermediate routes, crews will move into residential routes.

Snow Emergency Routes

Vehicles parked on snow emergency routes may be towed and impounded. These routes are posted with red and white street signs. If possible, use off-street parking.

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