Department of Public Services | 55 Portland Street | Portland, Maine 04101 | (207)-874-8801

winter links

Snow Parking Ban
ShuttleBus - ZOOM
South Portland Bus
Concord Trailways
Grayhound Bus
Mermaid Transportation
Bike Maine
Casco Bay Lines
Portland Trails
ME Dept of Transportation – Winter Info
Maine Turnpike Authority
American Public Works Association (APWA) Maine Chapter:
Winter Driving tips

FREE transfers between METRO, South Portland Bus Service and Shuttlebus/ZOOM within the greater Portland service areas.

snow & climate info

Cliff Island Weather Station
Have snow Shovel, will Travel
Maine Climate Website
Maine Farmer’s Almanac
Maine Winter Road Study 2010
Maine Weather Stories
NOAA Portland / Gray Maine Office
NOAA, FEMA & RED CROSS – Winter Info
NOAA's Source for Snow Information
National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center / N.E. US

winter operations

contact us

  Alternate Parking
  Notification Services
  Winter Operations Plan 2014
  Sand Barrel Locations
  Snow Bans
   Winter Sidewalks

Parking Ban Not in effect

Winter snow & ice conditions –  result in a variety of plowing and treatment responses on Portland's 320 miles of roadway and sidewalk on the mainland and our off shore island neighborhoods of Peaks, Little & Great Diamond and Cliff Islands. During Winter months Public Services Dispatch office is open 24hrs a day and crews are assigned to shifts to respond 24/7 to weather events. Major arterial roadways, hills and intersections are first treated often before plowing operations begin, usually when around 2” of snow falls. Plow teams are assigned via geographic area and concentrate first on major roadways and connectors to move traffic along before heading into residential areas. Plowing phases - first response to winter snow & ice might be deicing treatment followed by cutting in the first path and successive route plowing to keep up with the snowfall. In the final cleanup phase snow-banks are often pushed back to make room for future snow storms. Snow hauling takes place in the downtown district and priority areas to improve emergency access, vehicular and pedestrian transportation after large snow events.

How you can help - First, drive safely and ‘as needed’ during snow & ice events. Reduce speed during snow & ice conditions. Before driving- clear off ALL snow & ice from your vehicle including windows for better visibility.

* Park “off-street” or in a nearby parking lot or garage during Winter storms greatly helps us clear the snow from our roadways.

* Alternate Transportation Links
Public Transportation & Car Pooling - Consider riding the bus or car pooling / ride sharing during Winter months to reduce traffic and on street parking.

* ‘Snow Sense’ Teamwork - Clear a sidewalk for a neighbor - Please do not push or blow snow back onto city streets and sidewalks from driveways and lots. You can help us by clearing snow from nearby catch basins and fire hydrants when possible. This greatly helps drainage if snow turns to rain or wet weather follows.


SNOW EMERGENCY PARKING BAN - A city-wide Parking Ban is called as needed to allow city streets to be cleared of snow or ice conditions. Parking Bans greatly help snowplowing operations clear snow from our city roadways.


You can find additional information about parking bans and winter operations :

Parking Ban Hotline:       879-0300  (call hot line 1st )
Public Services
Customer Service Center:    874-8493
Parking Department:            874-8443

Portland Public Services will be working around the clock to clear snow from the 320 miles of City streets. We encourage people to say home and off the streets during the height of the storm to facilitate these efforts.

Winter reminders from Portland MEDCU and Fire Department:

Please keep your front walkways clear in the event emergency personnel need to get to your door. This also allows pedestrians and mail carriers to walk safely in your neighborhood.

The City also has over 2000 fire hydrants and could use your help in shoveling them out. Fire personnel work to get to as many of these hydrants as possible but your assistance with this effort will help keep you and your neighbors safe in the event of a fire.

Please check on your elderly neighbors during a storm who may need your help.

Please also note that Portland Public Services does have a TTY line available for the hearing impaired public: 874-8494

One last reminder: people can sign up on our web site to receive an e-mail or page notification about a parking ban as well. Nearly 2000 subscribers have done this to date.

Winter Sidewalk, Pedestrian & Bicycle Travel

Winter Sidewalks - Keeping our city sidewalks and recreational paths open and safe during Winter months
is challenging and requires ‘teamwork’ approach from residents and businesses to be successful.
City ordinances require that adjacent property owners clear snow and ice from sidewalks. Many Portlander’s and commuters walk or bicycle to work even during winter months. Help keep sidewalks safe – join us in helping Portland stay ‘walkable’ during the winter months, clear the sidewalk out front and help neighbors when possible.

City Sidewalk Clearing - Portland Public Services operates a fleet of small sidewalk tractors designed to clear snow from sidewalks. The City of Portland plows an estimated 80 miles of sidewalks including ‘Portland’s Downtown District’, school walking routes and priority sidewalks. Even with a fleet of sidewalk plows the miles of sidewalks and conditions are often ‘challenging’. We are often asked, why are not more sidewalks cleared by the City? Winter sidewalk planning factor in priority walking routes, school routes and urban trails. We evaluate sidewalk priorities with input from Portland Schools along with public feedback. Sidewalk plow operations often run for three or more days, 24/7 using a sidewalk plow team rotation during major Winter storms. time factor reduces the ability to commit additional sidewalk plowing miles ‘consistently’. Our sidewalk plow team operators ask to keep sidewalks free of trash bags, recycling bins, parked cars and any other obstructions so we can safely clear sidewalks. They do their best not to put snow back into your walks and driveways.

Snow storm events & plow times - When city sidewalk units are able to clear the sidewalks with “V-blades”, usually when snow events are less then 8” and it is feasible to push snow into windrows along the sidewalk edge, average plow times for sidewalk clearing is around 8 hours – during larger snow events greater then 8”
or heavy wet snow, ice conditions when snow blowers must be used the sidewalk snow clearing can take several days. Large snow banks, heavy wet or ice conditions can slow snow clearing from sidewalks.

Priority sidewalks include:

Portland Downtown District (PDD) - Portland Downtown District sidewalks - Click here.

School Walking Routes have priority focus for sidewalk plowing and deicing treatments

Portland Winter Sidewalk Plow Map - Click here.

Snow Hauling / Bulk Snow Removal Operation - After large snow events preparations are made to remove access snow from Portland’s Downtown area and other restricted areas as needed. This often includes widening residential streets and intersections.

Parking at Elm St and Spring St Garages - Snow ban rate is $3.00 in after 5:00PM out by 8:00AM. Before 5:00PM 1.75 hourly rate and after 8:00AM is the 1.75 hourly rate. 

Winter Operations Plan 2014

Memo from the Mayor

Winter Operations Graph

PDD Plowing Priorities with Towing Times

Sand and Salt Routes

Sidewalk Plow Routes