Snow removal on public streets in Lakewood is one of the Public Works Department's major responsibilities. The Street Maintenance Division has developed a comprehensive snow plan outlining the network of streets that will be cleared, kept open and maintained except under unusual conditions. The snow plan is intended to organize snow-removal operations and keep traffic moving throughout the community.
City crews begin plowing and sanding priority one streets when snow begins to accumulate on the pavement. After the priority one streets have been adequately cleared, crews move to priority two and three streets. City crews work around the clock until the snowfall has stopped and all priority streets have been plowed and sanded to an acceptable level. Priority routes are routinely plowed and sanded during each snowstorm. Sanding provides traction and is normally done only at intersections, on hills and curves or in specific problem areas. Once all priority one, two and three streets are adequately cleared, residential streets are plowed when snow depth seriously impedes vehicle mobility and melting is not forecast to occur quickly.
The snow removal plan sets the following priorities:
Priority One (160 miles):
These busy arterial and major collector streets are plowed first to provide a transportation system for police, fire, and rescue units. After the priority one streets have been adequately cleared, crews move to priority two and three routes.
Priorities Two and Three (125 miles):
School zones, shopping areas and minor collector streets are Priority 2; residential streets that are steep or have sharp curves or difficult access are Priority 3.
Residential Streets (204 miles):
These streets are not part of the priority routes and are plowed only in severe cases when snow depths are seriously impeding vehicle mobility and melting is not forecast to occur quickly.
Many major roads in Lakewood are state highways plowed and maintained by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). To report unsafe driving conditions or unplowed state highways, please use CDOT’s website.
- Morrison Road
- 6th Avenue
- US Highway 285 (Hampden)
Residents and businesses have 24 hours after the end of a storm to clear any sidewalks adjacent to their property, including front, sides and any pedestrian ramps leading to the street. The law also prohibits shoveling snow into the street. Instead, pile it up in your yard - your neighbors who drive the street will appreciate it, and so will your lawn next spring.
If a sidewalk is cleared and City or State plows cover it, the City will re-clear the walk at the end of the storm. If it is more than 24 hours after a storm ends and a sidewalk has still not been cleared or if a previously cleared sidewalk has been covered by City or State plows, you can report it by visiting Request Lakewood.
In addition to plowing the city’s streets, crews also clear city-owned sidewalks and paths. The Sidewalk and Path Snow Clearing Map shows where that is performed in Lakewood.
Sidewalk and Path Snow Clearing Map(PDF, 654KB)
In some conditions, we spray liquid anti-icing material on some arterial streets before a storm to prevent snow from bonding to the pavement and to make plowing more effective after the snow falls. Once snow accumulates, we use various salt-sand materials on priority routes to melt ice and snow and to provide traction. Sometimes, a continuing freeze-and-thaw cycle causes heavy ice buildup in gutters or on streets and sidewalks. City crews will remove heavy ice buildup on a complaint basis, as resources allow.
To report snow or ice removal within the public right-of-way, please visit Request Lakewood and choose the streets and sidewalk topic followed by snow and ice removal. Your report will be added to a prioritization list and serviced if resources allow.
City snowplowing is focused on making motor vehicle lanes passable and minimizing the effects created by piles of snow. We understand that bike facilities are also important even through the winter months. There are many bike facility configurations citywide, and not all bike lanes can be plowed without creating other problems for motor vehicles or pedestrians. We have identified certain bike facility segments on the Winter Bike Facilities Snow Removal Map below that can typically be plowed as part of ordinary snowplow routes. While bike facilities throughout the City are plowed to the best extent possible, we are committed to keeping the segments shown on the map usable for cyclists during winter months.
Winter Bike Facilities Snow Removal Map(PDF, 441KB)