Snow Policy and Procedures

Snow Crew

Snow Plans

The City has three snow plans of action for dealing with snow and ice:

PLAN A: Treatment of Roads
As soon as snow begins to fall or ice begins to form on the streets, creating hazardous driving conditions.

PLAN B: Plowing
When it becomes necessary to plow snow.

PLAN C: Removal
When it becomes necessary to remove/haul snow.

Snow Plan City of Winchester Community


Begins treating the
roadways as necessary,
in accordance to the route

  • Use caution
  • Drive only when necessary with snow tires or chains (recommended)
  • Keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice


The Snow Team and
City contractors will
plow roadways when
necessary in accordance
to the route schedule.
  • Use caution
  • Drive only when necessary with snow tires or chains (required)
  • Keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice
  • Do not park along designated snow emergency routes


City Police close parking
lots and parking on all city streets where snow is to
be removed
  • See Snow Plan B

Operating Motor Vehicles During Snow Emergencies

When Snow Plan B or C is in effect, it shall be unlawful for any person to:

  1. Operate a motor vehicle which is not equipped with effective tire chains or snow treads on any of the streets or alleys within the city
  2. Park or abandon a vehicle on any snow emergency route
  3. Obstruct or impede traffic on any snow emergency route when such vehicle is not equipped with effective snow tires or chain

The City of Winchester Police Department shall authorize immediate removal and storage, at the owners expense, of any vehicle that is parked, stalled or abandoned on any snow emergency route (City Ordinance, Section 14-33).

Removing Snow From Your Driveway

Watch this VDOT video for tips on how to remove snow from your driveway and prevent repeated closures from snow plows clearing streets.

Removing Snow and Ice from Sidewalks

Property owners and occupants are responsible for clearing sidewalks of snow and ice in front of their building or home (City Code Ordinance, Section 26-15).

Snowfall Removal from Sidewalk
6" or less Within 24 hours
More than 6" Within 48 hours


For questions about the City's snow/ice removal ordinance for residencts, please contact the Code Enforcement Division at (540) 667-1815.

Applying Chemicals and Plowing

There are two aspects to a snow operation:

  1. Applying chemicals and
  2. Plowing

When roads start to freeze from falling precipitation, chemicals will begin being applied to priority roads and continue until all roads are complete or until it is no longer effective to apply chemicals, due to the depth of the snow. The more traffic on the roads, the more effective the chemicals. As a result, sometimes residential streets with small amounts of traffic may appear as not to have been treated.

Please keep in mind that as the temperature drops, the chemicals become less effective. Once the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, chemicals become ineffective. If a snowfall accumulates and plowing is required, applying chemicals operations cease. When the snow stops and the final plowing has been accomplished on all roads, chemicals are again spread on all the roads. All roads are monitored for icy spots and chemicals are re-applied where dangerous.

Why Some Roads are Cleared Before Others

As snow begins to accumulate, the City of Winchester concentrates on certain roads (Amherst Street, Berryville Avenue, Pleasant Valley Road, and Valley Avenue). These roads are focused on first because of the significance (i.e. hospital route). As the snow keeps falling, the City's first priority is to keep the main roads open and passable. As soon as all major streets within the city are clear, equipment is immediately moved into residential areas.

The City of Winchester requests that residents please be patient during snow operations. Snow removal is a difficult and time consuming task. Please try to limit road travel during and immediately following a snowfall unless absolutely necessary. The less traffic on the roads during snow clearing operations, the more effective the job can be performed.

Designated Snow Emergency Routes

The following streets within the city are designated as snow emergency routes and posted to state standards (City Ordinance, Section 14-32):

Street From To Routes
Amherst Street Boscawen Street Route 37 Route 50
Boscawen Street Braddock Street Amherst Street Route 50
Braddock Street Boscawen Street Valley Avenue Route 50 & 11
Valley Avenue Loudoun Street City Limits Route 11
Gerrard Street Braddock Street Cameron Street Route 50 & 11
Millwood Avenue Cameron Street Frontage Road Route 17 & 50
Cameron Street Gerrard Street Loudoun Street Route 11
Loudoun Street Cameron Street City Limits Route 11
Fairmont Avenue Piccadilly Street City Limits Route 522
Piccadilly Street Farimont Avenue East Lane Route 50, 7 & 522
East Lane Piccadilly Street National Avenue Route 7
National Avenue East Lane Berryville Avenue Route 7
Berryville Avenue National Avenue Ross Street Route 7
Stewart Street Gerrard Street Boscawen Street  
Washington Street Gerrard Street Fairfax Lane  
Cork Street Washington Street Academy Lane  
Clifford Street* Washington Street Handley Avenue  

*Ord. of 6-14-78

TIP: Preventing Ice

Use ice melt on your driveway entrance and sidewalks early and often to prevent snow packing down and forming into ice. An ice melter with Calcium Chloride or Potassium Chloride is better for the environment and only requires a small amount to melt ice. Please avoid rock salt or Sodium Chloride which can kill plants and trees.

Clearing Your Driveway

As applying chemicals and plowing are difficult operations to perform, residents are asked to park in their driveways when snow is anticipated rather than on the street, where possible. This will allow operations to be performed in a more safe and time-effective manner. Please keep in mind that it is nearly impossible to keep snow from being deposited at your driveway entrance during plowing, as the plow can not be lifted or stopped at each driveway.

Residents are asked to try to wait until plow equipment has come through before clearing your driveway. But if you have already shoveled or plowed your driveway before the street is plowed, clear an area to the left of the driveway entrance (standing in the driveway facing the street). When your street is plowed, the snow from the plow can be unloaded in this area instead of your driveway entrance. This helpful tip may minimize the amount of snow left in front of your driveway.

When shoveling or plowing snow from your driveway, please do not dump snow into the street. This only slows the plowing operation and if dumped snow left in the street freezes, it can create a hazardous situation.

Snow Plow Safety Tips

  • Be patient around plows
  • Never pass a snow plow
  • Be aware of reduced visibility
  • Do not drive beside snow plows
  • Do not pass between snow plows in tandem
  • Move aside: When approaching from the opposite direction, shift right