Street Division

What is a Snow Emergency

The City Administrator normally declares a Snow Emergency after notification from the National Weather Service via the Transportation, Buildings, & Grounds Director or the Public Works Director. Maybe the term "emergency" is a misnomer (unless we received 20" or more at one time as they have in some areas in the past), but in declaring a Snow Emergency a special "No Parking" ban goes into effect on any city streets. This is simply the most effective way to keep cars off the street, a crucial factor in doing a good plowing job. Norfolk has approximately 244 miles of streets. For snow removal, they are broken down into three categories: (1) posted Snow Emergency Routes, and main arterials, (2)central business district (CBD) removal, (3) Residential streets by designated areas. There are about 40 miles of Snow Emergency Routes. CBD consists of 44 blocks. There are 24 designated residential areas.

Snow Emergency Routes are the first plowed over the whole city generally in a grid pattern. The Snow Emergency Route system was planned so very few residents have to go more than a few blocks to get to a plowed main street. It works the other way also, allowing police and fire vehicles to get within a few blocks of any home by way of plowed streets. These are truly "emergency" routes to keep essential services functioning after major snowfalls that would otherwise paralyze the city.

Residential streets are plowed immediately after Emergency Snow Routes are completed. The reason residentials are completed during the day is most people are at work, so the parking is lighter. School areas are plowed immediately after the Snow Emergency Routes are opened provided all equipment is operable. Alleys are plowed after the streets have been cleared.

Posted Snow Emergency Routes, main arterials, and the central business district are plowed first. Snowplow trucks and motor patrols usually start at 2:00 A.M., and the routes would then be finished by 9:00 A.M. The central business district is ready for pick-up about 6:00 A.M. Traffic is lighter during the early morning and there is usually no problem finishing the routes before the morning rush hour.

This is our normal Snow Emergency Declaration and the time schedule for the parking bans on the affected streets. Public Works has the latitude to alter this schedule as necessary to cover extreme or unusual snowstorms. If officials were to alter the normal declaration, they would place special emphasis on the new times of parking bans and fully explain the actions or reasons for departing from the normal schedule.

Once a snow emergency is declared, parking where normally allowed on both sides, is allowed on the EVEN number side of the street only.

The following streets located within the City are hereby designated as emergency snow routes:

Street From To
Alaska Avenue Riverside Blvd Us Hwy 81
Bluff Avenue Pasewalk Avenue Chestnut Street
Boxelder St (N) Norfolk Avenue End of Boxelder Street
Chestnut Street Omaha Avenue Bluff Avenue
Elm Avenue 1st Street 4th Street
Georgia Avenue Riverside Blvd 13th Street
Klug Avenue 1st Street Boxelder Street
Maple Avenue Victory Road East City Limits
Pasewalk Ave (E) 1st Street Bluff Avenue
Prospect Avenue 4th Street 27th Street
Queen City Blvd Prospect Avenue Benjamin Avenue
Taylor Avenue 25th Street Pasewalk Avenue
7th Street Omaha Avenue Prospect Avenue
9th Street Michigan Avenue Omaha Avenue
18th Street Benjamin Avenue Phillip Avenue
20th Street Pasewalk Avenue Vicki Lane
24th Street Norfolk Avenue Taylor Avenue
27th Street Norfolk Avenue Prospect Avenue

When parking is prohibited.
It shall be unlawful for any person to park or allow to remained parked any motor vehicle at any time on an emergency route, as designated under section 24-201(b) or this article at any time an emergency has been declared by the mayor or his or her designated representative.

Declaration of emergency condition and parking prohibition - Emergency routes.
Whenever the mayor, or his or her designated representative, shall find, on the basis of falling snow, sleet, or freezing rain, or on the basis of an official forecast, by the U.S. Weather Bureau, of snow, sleet, or freezing rain, or that other weather conditions, such as tornado or violent electrical storms will make it necessary that motor vehicle traffic be expedited and that parking on city emergency routes be prohibited or restricted for snow plowing and/or other purposes, the mayor or his or her designated representative may place into effect a parking prohibition on all emergency routes, by declaring that an emergency condition exists. In such declaration of emergency conditions, the mayor or his or her designated representative shall state the time that said emergency shall be in effect and from the time so designated it shall be unlawful to park or allow to remain parked any motor vehicle on emergency routes. Once in effect, such parking prohibition imposed shall remain in effect until terminated by declaration of the mayor or his or her designated representative; provided, however, nothing in this section shall be construed to permit parking at any time or place where it is forbidden by any other provision of law.

Abandoned, stalled or stuck vehicles - Removal by operator.
Whenever an emergency has been declared pursuant to this article, it shall be unlawful for any person operating a motor vehicle on an emergency route to allow such vehicle to become stalled or stuck for any reason. Whenever a motor vehicle becomes stalled or stuck for any reason, whether or not in violation of this article on any emergency route on which there is a parking prohibition in effect, the person operating such vehicle shall take immediate action to have the vehicle towed or pushed off the roadway of such emergency route, either onto the nearest cross-street which is not an emergency route, or other appropriate location. No person shall abandon or leave his vehicle in the roadway of an emergency route, except for the purpose of securing assistance during the actual time necessary to go to a nearby telephone or to a nearby garage, gasoline station, or other place of assistance and return without delay.

Removal by police division, storage, towing, redemption fees, records to be maintained.
Members of the police division are hereby authorized to remove or have removed a vehicle from a street to another place or location on a street or to a lot, garage, storage yard, or other similar facility designated by the police division when:

(1) The vehicle is parking on an emergency route on which a parking prohibition is in effect;

(2) The vehicle is stalled on an emergency route on which there is a parking prohibition in effect and the person who is operating said vehicle does not appear to be removing it in accordance with the provisions of this article;

(3) The vehicle is parking on any street in violation of any parking prohibition or provision of law contained in this article and is interfering or about to interfere with snow removal operations.

The police division may cause such vehicles to be removed to a private lot, garage, storage yard, or other similar facility, and such vehicle shall not be released there from, except upon payment by the owner of the vehicle to the person or persons in charge of the lot, garage, storage yard or other similar facility for the cost of towing and a receipt for such fees shall be issued to the owner of the vehicle. It shall be the duty of the person or persons in charge of the lot, garage, storage yard, or other similar facility designated by the police division to keep a record or the name of the owner of all vehicles towed in under the provisions hereof, together with the registration number of each vehicle, and the nature and circumstances of each violation, and the amount of fees collected hereunder, and to deliver a report of each transaction to the chief of police weekly.