Sidewalks in Winter


Across the city, keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice is the responsibility of the property owner. The City urges all property owners to complete their civic responsibility and ensure the safety of fellow residents.

By ordinance, anyone with a sidewalk parallel to any public street, shall clear and keep cleared any snow or ice which has accumulated on the surface. All city property owners are required to remove snow and ice from sidewalks on their property by 6:00 p.m. in the evening following the snow event. Residents should not shovel, sweep, throw, plow, or otherwise deposit snow or ice into the street, sidewalk, or park located within the city.

In addition, the Syracuse Fire Department requests that residents help clear snow from around the more than 5,000 fire hydrants across the city. Instead of blowing or pushing snow near hydrants, SFD asks residents to take the extra time to clear a three-foot space around all sides of hydrants and to make a path from the road to the hydrant.

The City is responsible for removing snow from the sidewalks and rights of way around City of Syracuse properties, in keeping with city ordinances. Read the city ordinance on sidewalk snow removal below.

Sidewalk Snow Removal Program

The Syracuse Department of Public Works (DPW) commits to plowing approximately 156 miles of widely used sidewalks around the city whenever there is snowfall of three inches or more, creating a network of interconnected pathways for pedestrians to get around town.

To identify what routes get cleared, the City partnered with the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council to develop a data-driven framework in which traffic flow and pedestrian activity are analyzed together with heavily-trafficked roads and important locations for pedestrians, like schools, stores, and neighborhood amenities. The findings inform a connected network of sidewalks that get cleared following a snow event of three inches or more, allowing for better mobility of pedestrians all around the city.

See the map of streets covered below.


Real-Time Sidewalk Plow Map

Monitor the City's supplemental sidewalk plowing while planning your walk in snowy conditions


City Ordinance on Snow Removal

Article 2. Sec. 24-3. - Removal of snow and ice from sidewalks.

The owner, agent or occupant of any structure or vacant lot fronting upon any park, street or alley, shall clear or cause to be cleared, the sidewalk along the said premises from all snow and ice that may fall or accumulate thereon every day by  six o'clock in the afternoon of the following day, except as hereinafter provided.

The owner, agent, or occupant of any structure or vacant lot fronting upon any park, street or alley within the area of the special assessment district, as described in chapter 38 herein, shall within four (4) hours after snow ceases to fall clear or cause to be cleared the sidewalk along the said premises from all snow and ice; the time between 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. the following day not being included in the above four-hour period nor shall the foregoing be applicable to Sundays. In the event of the accumulation of snow and snow ceases to fall:

Between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day, such snow shall be removed by 12:00 p.m. of said day, except Sundays;

On Sundays, such snow shall be removed by 12:00 p.m. the following Monday.

In case the snow and ice on the sidewalk shall be frozen so hard that it cannot be removed without injury to the pavement, the owner, agent, or occupant of any structure or vacant lot fronting thereon may within the time specified in the preceding paragraphs cause the sidewalk to be strewn with salt, sand or some similar suitable material and shall thereafter as soon as the weather shall permit, thoroughly clean such sidewalk.

(Ord. of 1-6-64; Gen: Ord. No. 1-1978, 1-9-78)


Sec. 24-4. - Improper disposal of cleared snow and ice.

No person shall sweep, throw or deposit or cause to be swept, thrown or deposited any snow or ice into any street gutter or public square or park, or on any sidewalk within the city, from lands or premises abutting or adjoining any such street gutter, public square, park or sidewalk. All commercial snow removal services shall comply with chapter 9, article 14 or the Revised General Ordinances entitles "Snow Removal Contractors".

(Gen. Ord. No. 9-2015, 3-16-2015)


Sec. 24-5. - Penalties for violating section 24-4.

Any person found guilty of violating this article by a court of competent jurisdiction shall be subject to a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00); or to a penalty not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) per violation to be recovered by the corporation counsel in a civil action, provided however, that snow removal contractors as defined in chapter 9, article 14 are still subject to the one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) fine in accordance with chapter 9, article 14, section 9-162 of the Revised General Ordinances of the city of Syracuse. Furthermore, the city may seek injunctive relief pursuant to section 1-8 of the Revised General Ordinances.

(Gen. Ord. No. 9-2015, 3-16-2015)