Snow and Ice Response
Despite the infrequency of storms, the City of Colorado Springs Streets Division must be prepared for minor and major snowstorms from September through May. The City's Streets Division is responsible for servicing over 7,431 lane miles of roadway, extending over a 194 square mile area. While average annual snowfall stands at 42 inches, snow can pile up quickly, at varying rates throughout the City. Elevation and wind can compound accumulation, causing an immediate impact on the City's mobility. Hence, the need for safe and passable streets is a priority for the Streets Division.
The City's Streets Division generates its weather data from a variety of sources that provide information about storm probability, expected start and end times, anticipated total accumulations and other data that assists the City in preparing for and responding to these storms. These sources include:
- the National Weather Service
- the Weather Channel
- the Internet
The City uses two materials on City streets. The first material is called "anti-skid" and is used on most snow routes. Anti-skid can contain up to 20 percent salt, and is used to aid in vehicle traction. The second material is used on many of the City's thoroughfares and is called "IceSlicer." This material is a de-icer and will lower the freezing temperature of water. IceSlicer will work down to around 10 degrees. To view maps that show these routes, click here.
Private Property Owner's Responsibility - Parking Lots, Driveways and Sidewalks
What is the property owner's responsibility with regard to snow and ice? City maintenance personnel and equipment cannot clear snow on private property. This includes parking lots, driveways and sidewalks for both residences and places of businesses. Residential property owners are responsible for clearing any sidewalks in front of their property within 24 hours of when snow stops falling. The City will initially give written notice to property owners who fail to clear their sidewalks in a timely manner. Ultimately, the Engineering Inspection Division can impose fines for those who do not comply (see City Code Chapter 3, Article 4 - Sidewalks, or click here for more information, including tips to help with sidewalk snow removal).
There are no City requirements relating to the condition of private driveways in winter storm situations. However, it is a violation of City ordinance to pile shoveled snow in a street, or on another person's property. The best place to shovel snow is onto your lawn.
The City's Service Area
- 1,576 centerline miles composed of designated major thoroughfares, collector streets and residential streets.
- 7,431 lane miles (miles of road lanes)
- 194 square miles
There are a total of 1,576 centerline miles in the City's roadway system. In 1980, there were 800 centerline miles. The City of Colorado Springs has added more miles since 1980 than the entire road system in several Front Range cities, such as Pueblo and Lakewood.
State and County Roads
All State and County roads are maintained by their own staff. For information on snow removal on State or County roads, call:
- CDOT winter road conditions, (303) 639-1111
- CDOT road maintenance office (Colorado Springs), (719) 634-2323 or (719) 576-1868
- El Paso County Department of Transportation office, (719) 520-6460
- City of Colorado Springs Streets Division, (719) 385-5934
- 24-Hour Answering Service, (719) 278-8352
- Streets Division automated snow hotline, (719) 385-SNOW
- National Weather Service Forecast information for Colorado Springs, (303) 573-6846
- What to Know for Snow City information - WinterStorms