Snow Removal Policy

The City of Northville Public Works Department routinely provides snow and ice control services on City streets. This work is performed following a priority pattern designed to provide service to the greatest number of motorists where the need is the most crucial. The street system maintained by the City includes 6.5 miles of "major streets", almost 18 miles of "local streets" and several alleys. The City does not maintain county primary roads, which include Eight Mile, Seven Mile, Novi Road, South Main Street and North Griswold. These streets are maintained by Wayne/Oakland County Road Commissions.

Priorities for Snow Plowing and Ice Control Service on City streets
  1. Major streets such as Main Street, Center Street, Randolph Street and Taft Road.
  2. Local streets with steep grades and sharp curves.
  3. Parking lots and the remainder of the local residential streets and courts.
  4. Alleys and cemetery roads.

How to prevent snow from a snowplow from being pushed onto your driveway. 


The City has a "bare pavement" policy for number "1" and "2" priority streets. This means that these streets will be plowed and salted to bare pavement within 24 hours of a snow or ice event, even if it requires overtime for City forces to do so. The City’s snow removal and ice control efforts may vary based on the severity of the storm event. A sleet storm would be primarily an ice control operation involving salt spreaders. A snowfall less than 4" would result in the dispatch of salt spreaders and plow trucks to number "1" and "2" priority streets. Number "3" and "4" priority streets may not be plowed or salted for this relatively small amount of snow. Larger snowfalls (4" to 8") would show an initial concentration on the number "1" and "2" priority streets with an ongoing effort to keep them open during the snow event and additional effort applied to number "3" and "4" priority streets. Overtime plowing and ice control would begin on flatter local streets (priority "3") when accumulation reaches approximately 4" and the major streets have been completed. Parking lots generally are plowed through the night or early in the morning before stores are open. It is extremely difficult to plow parking lots during the day when they are full or partially full, so this is avoided unless absolutely necessary.

Use of salt to address slippery road conditions
To effectively provide snow and ice control, the Department uses snow plowing in conjunction with the application of road salt. Rock salt is the principal element used for ice control purposes. Occasionally, sand is mixed with salt or calcium chloride to increase traction during ice storms or periods of extreme cold. However, the use of sand is generally avoided as it tends to fill and clog storm drains. Sand works better on rural roads.

The City of Northville is aware of the environmental impacts associated with the use of road salt for snow and ice control purposes. Yet studies conducted by the Federal Highway Administration concluded that salt is still the most effective means of snow and ice control for roadways and sidewalks. The City of Northville salts number "1" and "2" priority streets (bare pavement policy streets), along with intersections, curves and hills on number "3" priority streets. 

Shovel or snow blow within 24 hours of snowfall or an ice event
Residents and businesses are advised to clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of a snow or ice event. You may not push snow or ice into or across City streets, which may result in a fine. 

During snow plowing, the snow must be pushed to the side of the road and may put additional snow onto your driveway. See video on this page for how to prevent that from happening.  If you have a neighbor who is unable to remove the snow from their driveway or in front of their mail boxes, please assist them.