Know Snow: Shoveling Regulations, Snow Emergencies, Parking Restrictions and More

February 8, 2017

The following is what you need to know for winter in Boston. This information is on the City of Boston's website section dedicated to winter, which is available by clicking here.  You can also call the BID's Dispatch Line at 617-261-0066 to report unshoveled public ways in the Downtown Crossing area. BID Ambassadors are out 24 hours a day to remove snow when necessary.

Please visit MBTA.com for information about MBTA schedules.

Snow Emergencies

You can click here to sign up to receive snow emergency alerts from the City of Boston.

Parking During Snow Emergencies:

How do you know if you can’t park on a street during a snow emergency? Check the signs posted on the street. Also, the City of Boston has a parking restrictions map that is available by clicking here.

During declared snow emergencies, discounted parking is available at some parking lots and garages for Boston residents. The City of Boston created a list of discounted parking garages and lots you can use. Also, here is a list of parking garages in and near the Downtown Crossing area. It is recommended that you contact garages to see if they are accepting vehicles before driving to the garage.

You will be ticketed and towed if you park on a posted snow emergency artery during a declared snow emergency.

Please park at least 20 feet away from intersections and no farther than 1 foot from the curb. Don’t block sidewalks, fire hydrants, ramps, driveways or the street with your vehicle.

Shoveling Info

What Property Owners Must Do After a Storm:

  • Clear sidewalks and curb ramps within three hours after it stopped snowing.
  • If it snowed overnight, clear sidewalks and curb ramps within three hours after sunrise.
  • Remove ice to bare pavement or make it as level as possible.
  • Clear at least a 42-inch-wide path for people using wheelchairs and pushing strollers.
  • Don’t shovel or push snow into the street. If you do, the City will fine you.

Shoveling Fines:

The City of Boston considers each day that you don't address a violation as a separate and distinct violation. Boston Code of Ordinances, 16-12.16 has more information about the City’s law on snow removal. Click here to see Snow Removal Fines.

You can report an unshoveled sidewalk to the City of Boston by clicking here.

What To Do With Your Trash When It Snows

Please clear an area at the curb, or put containers next to or in front of snow banks.

Important Phone Numbers

Boston Fire, Boston Police and Emergency Services: 911

Non-emergency requests: 311

Eversource gas and electric: 1-800-592-2000

National Grid: 1-800-322-3223

Boston Water & Sewer Commission: 617-989-7000

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority: 617-242-6000

City of Boston Tow Lot: 617-635-3900