Winter Weather Conditions
Each year, Sandpoint, Idaho experiences approximately 30 days of winter weather, totaling an average annual snowfall of 58 inches. Winter weather conditions typically occur between November and March. The rate and accumulation of snowfall, moisture content, temperature, time of day, visibility, wind velocity, duration and traffic volumes are all variables that interact to create unique conditions for each storm. As any snowfighter will tell you: no two storms are ever identical.
Responding to winter weather conditions requires a collaboration between the City and its citizens. The City currently dedicates up to 12 highly experienced operators to help tackle snow, ice, and slush. Their mission is to provide the greatest level of service and safety to the traveling public. The City monitors weather conditions 24 hours a day in order to provide a proactive response and strives to continuously improve operations to best serve citizens.
Similar to previous years, when it snows two inches or more, crews will plow all streets, including residential streets. Last year, we implemented a new plan:
• More plowing, sooner due to proactive scheduling of crews.
• More equipment and people available for snow removal.
• Greater emphasis on streets most traveled.
• Simplified seasonal parking rules.
• Improved Communications with the Engage Sandpoint app.
• Access to a new City Snow Hotline - call 208.920.SNOW
It is impractical, physically and fiscally, to give all streets an equal level of services and maintain near continuous coverage. Consistent with other municipalities, available resources focus on the streets most traveled and on those that provide access to essential services. Streets with higher intensity use have a higher priority for snow removal service. Residential streets require proportionally more time for snow removal for the amount of traffic served and have a lower priority.
Operations are performed based upon prioritized routes, detailed in the City’s Snow Removal Policy, as adopted by City Council. The latest priority route map may be downloaded here.
City graders are equipped with snow gates to reduce the amount of snow plowed in front of driveways.
The use of snow gates may narrow roadways, especially as the winter continues, since the plows can no longer reach all the way to the curb.
Snow gates are used city-wide when the snow fall is less than 4-inches. The use of snow gates may be suspended during snow events in which the snow is greater or wetter than their use would be effective.
Snow gates will not be used in front of vehicles, mailboxes, or trash containers.
The City of Sioux Falls, South Dakota has a great, educational video about snow gates. Check it out!
Vehicles parked on the street during snow and ice events negatively impact the City’s ability to perform snow removal services in a timely and efficient manner. At times, vehicles parked on the street may restrict access by snow removal equipment. To help ensure crews can complete operations in a safe and timely manner, citizens are asked to park on the even side of the street, unless posted otherwise, between November 1 and March 1. The “even” side of the street includes even numbered addresses. Snow removal on the even side will occur as vehicles move.
Vehicles left on the street are subject to removal (towing) by the Sandpoint Police Department, at the expense of the vehicle owner, when on-street parking is not in accordance with the Snow Removal Policy. All parked vehicles on the streets must be cleaned of snow within 24 hours of any storm so that plow operators clearly see vehicles.
When snowfall has accumulated or is expected to accumulate on public streets in an amount sufficient to pose a hazard to the health, safety, and/or welfare the City may issue a No Parking Order that prohibits parking on the street. The No Parking Order will communicate which locations of town and what times apply. Push notifications will be sent through Engage Sandpoint and our Facebook page regarding No Parking Orders.
Park on the even side of the street, unless posted otherwise.
Move recreational vehicles, basketball hoop, boats and trailers off the street and to a winter storage location for the winter season.
Keep sidewalks, ADA ramps, mailboxes, and fire hydrants free of snow and ice.
Avoid placing trash containers in the street until it has been cleared of snow. Collection service trucks have the ability to reach approximately 12-feet. Driveways are the best alternative.
Depositing of snow on public streets is prohibited.
Make a Winter Plan
Have adequate snow shovels or a working snow blower.
Consider buying salt or sand to help tackle ice and slippery conditions.
Shake tree branches of heavy snow; snow can cause damage to healthy trees and fall on pedestrians passing by.
Know who in your neighborhood might need help with shoveling or other winter work and offer to help. Winter can be especially tough on seniors and disabled individuals. Consider calling Sandpoint Community Resource Center at 208.920.1840, Monday -Friday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm to learn more about volunteer programs.
Get the Latest Info
Have you downloaded the new app Engage Sandpoint? It’s the best way to stay up to date on City operations and road conditions. Engage Sandpoint offers an easy way to communicate with City staff and report any concerns.
Download Engage Sandpoint today by following this link .
Citizens can also follow the City on Facebook!
Questions or Concerns? Engage Sandpoint is the best way to communicate with our operations team. Alternatively, citizens may contact: