The Business of the City: Miscellaneous

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Status of SNOW REMOVAL in Plainfield

I have received several emails from constituents regarding the city's Snow Removal Plan, which was posted on the City of Plainfield's website--click HERE. I have also pasted it below. Please note that this is one of the biggest storms in New Jersey's history, and the crews are out working. Plainfield has had no loss of life, and safety concerns for our residents are always the number one priority.

John Louise and the Department of Public Works staff, along with Police, Fire, and the Office of Emergency Management, continue to work to clear our 107 lane miles* (scroll down) of roadway, based on the standard of priority plowing* (scroll down). The rise in temperature should help as well.


The primary goals of the City's Snow Removal and Ice Control Plan are to maintain safe travel routes during the winter season as well as to restore mobility for the traveling public within a reasonable time frame following winter storm conditions.

Do you have an emergency supply kit at home and in your car? Severe winter weather can
cause widespread power outages and dangerous driving conditions. With an emergency supply kit at home and in the car, you'll be prepared for the winter months. A home supply kit should be stocked with Items to stay safe for at least three days. An emergency preparedness kit in a vehicle will help travelers stay safe and warm until help arrives. Residents of the City of Plainfield and your relatives are encouraged to participate in Winter Storm Preparedness by preparing for winter hazards now.

• Emergency 9-1-1
• Police Division Non-Emergency 908-753-3131
• Public Works Information 908-753-3427

Snow Plan Frequently Asked Questions

How do I learn the status of snow plowing efforts?
For the latest information on the status of snow plowing efforts, call the Public Works (908)753-3427 during regular business hours, Monday-Friday 7:00AM-3:30PM. For after hour updates please call (908)-226-2544.

What should I do in an emergency?
During a heavy snowfall, when emergencies services are needed, Call 9-1-1
Non-emergency, call the Plainfield Police Department at 908-753-3131

Who is responsible for clearing snow-filled streets?
The City of Plainfield clears most streets within the City limits. There are, however, a number of roads within the City that are the responsibility of other local government agencies. To inquire about responsibility of a roadway, please call Public Works (909)753-3427.

When does the City begin plowing?
The City of Plainfield begins an all-out plowing effort whenever two (2) inches of snow has
accumulated on the roadways.

Does the City have a “bare pavement” policy?
The City of Plainfield does not have a "bare pavement" policy as this would dramatically
increase costs and has negative environmental impacts. Matching the level of service to
vehicular volumes reduces salt usage while providing high quality winter travel.

Which streets are plowed first?
The City has established a *priority plowing system for our *107 lane miles so that main traffic routes, such as main thoroughfares and emergency routes are plowed first. Crews always attempt to clear these routes before rush hour.

Priority One — Main thoroughfares, emergency routes, hills, bridges, school routes and
business district.
Priority Two — Minor residential roads and municipal lots.
Priority Three — Dead ends and cul-de-sacs.
In a Citywide plowing effort, City crews will plow one path (in/out) through every Priority two and three roadway to allow residents and emergency vehicles mobility as early as is practical in a storm. Crews return later to finish pushing the snow back curb to curb to clear storm inlets.

Plowing dead ends and cul-de-sacs
• The City of Plainfield has 47 cul-de-sacs and dead-end streets.
• It takes about 35 minutes to clear a cul-de-sac of snow--which is eight times longer than
it takes to plow a street of the same size.

Who clears sidewalks and driveways?
Both are the responsibility of residents and property owners. Residents should:
• Shovel snow into the yard, not onto the street. Putting snow in the street is illegal
because it causes dangerously slippery conditions for both motorists and pedestrians.
• Avoid double shoveling by waiting until after your street has been plowed to clear your
• Residents are encouraged to shovel sidewalks so children have a safe walkway to
school and pedestrians can walk through the community.

Do all streets get salted?
• All main thoroughfares and primary residential streets maybe salted in response to snow
or ice.
• Salt is applied on cul-de-sacs and other residential streets but may not have the same
effect do to minimal amount of traffic generated.

Are there parking restrictions during winter storms?
During winter storms, parked vehicles must be moved from marked snow routes. Violators may be ticketed and towed. 

Please remember
Higher salt application is detrimental to the environment and to automobile bodies.


  1. Thank you, Rebecca. I know when I came home from work and traveled down Crescent Ave. from 7th the street was a mess and very rough. Most of our side streets were bad also and I hope the plows will cover them again while people are at work. Thanks again for your hard work.

  2. I must commend John Louise and his staff for yet again doing a great job of cleaning our streets. I was on the road at 6:30am on Monday morning and it was extremely evident where Plainfield roads ended, and Scotch Plains roads began. Once you left Plainfield the roads were not as well plowed, and certainly not as wide. Many thanks to John and his team who never let us down during snow storms.

    I would hope, Rebecca, that people are equally concerned about making sure their sidewalks are shoveled and cleared. I believe there is an ordinance that indicates that require sidewalks to be clear 24 hours after the snow is done. I hope homeowners and landlords who expect the city to adhere to the city's goals, also adhere to the city's sidewalk ordinance. -Jeanette