We're committed to making sure Newport's streets remain safe and passable - even during the harshest of winter conditions.
Whenever snowfall is forecast to approach 2 inches or more, our team of snow plow operators is deployed to de-ice and plow roughly 94 miles miles of roads throughout the City.
During snow events, we divide the city into seven (7) plowing areas with dedicated personnel assigned to each area. Plowing in each area is prioritized with main roads, hills and areas around schools being addressed first.While we try to be as efficient as possible, the length of time it takes city crews to plow 94 miles of roads varies depending on the intensity of the snowfall, breakdowns of equipment, amount of traffic on the roads and available personnel.We also face additional difficulties in Newport due to our historic and narrow streets, parked cars, one way traffic, steep hills and poor visibility. The city advises that all motorists stay off the roadways, if at all possible, during a snowstorm.
Snow plowing operations are in effect for snowfalls of approximately two (2) inches or more and we If you'd like to report an unplowed street, feel free to use ReportIt! Newport
Under City Codified Ordinances, 9.08.110. - Snow removal and disposal, Article A. Any owner, occupant, or other person having the care of any building or lot of land that borders any street or public right-of-way (where there is a sidewalk) shall be responsible to clear the snow creating a pathway at least three (3) feet wide, for the safe passage of pedestrians within five (5) hours of daylight after the snow stops. The Zoning and Inspection Department may issue citations for non compliance with this ordinance.
Yes. City ordinance marks the following streets as tow zones for emergency snow removal work:
The City must remove the snow from the traveled portion of the road. Generally, the snow is pushed towards the parked cars on narrow streets to prevent damage to these vehicles. In the pavement, you will see various cast-iron utility castings such as manhole covers, sewer covers, water gate boxes, gas gate boxes, etc. If one of these gates is slightly raised the plow can catch the lip of the cover causing the truck to be jolted and slide sideways.
Due to the fact that the plow blades are slanted to push the snow to the side of the truck, when the plow catches a utility cover, the truck is jolted in the opposite direction. If the plow driver were pushing the snow to the non-parking side of the street, the truck would be jolted into the parked vehicles causing damage to both the City truck and the parked cars. So to try and minimize these types of collisions, we push the snow towards the cars which will slide the plow away from the cars when they catch a raised utility cover. On wider streets plows can clear lanes that are not directly adjacent to parked vehicles away from the cars.
On two-way streets where there is only parking on one side, the plow operator cannot push the snow away from the parked cars into the oncoming traffic, as it would create a hazard and liability. Snow is always pushed away from the oncoming traffic. When heavy snowfalls are predicted, residents are asked where possible not to park on the roads. This is done to reduce the occurrence of plowing in parked vehicles, eliminating the chance of damaging vehicles, and allowing for a more efficient plowing operations.
The City does not clean driveways for a few reasons: There are thousands of driveways in the City, the task to clear each driveway would be impossible as it would take days or weeks to complete, the mechanics and operation of the plows do not allow a driver to maneuver to clear driveways, and the cost to of time and materials to clear each and every driveway for each snow event would be enormous.
Unfortunately, this cannot be avoided. The snow must, at minimum, be removed from the traveled portion of the roadway but plow drivers are requested to plow curb to curb where possible. When the City receives a heavy snowfall, if possible, do not shovel your driveway until after the plow has gone by. If you must shovel before that, do not throw the snow out into the roadway as you may create a hazard for another vehicle, and if an accident were to occur you might be held liable.
Under City Codified Ordinances, 9.08.110. - Snow removal and disposal, Article B. No person shall dispose of any snow by throwing or plowing it onto the travel lane portion of any public roadway; nor shall any snow that is shoveled, plowed or collected be deposited directly into any waterway, including, but not limited to, all fresh water ponds and the waters of Newport Harbor.
Shoveling snow into public streets from vehicles, sidewalks, and private driveways is strictly prohibited and against the law. The Police Department may issue citations for this behavior as it can create a hazardous situation.
Take advantage of the City's free parking lots. Not only does getting your car off the street help protect it from damage, but it also allows snow plows to operate more efficiently.
Remember to shovel your sidewalk. Newport was designed to be a walkable city. Keeping clear paths for pedestrians after it snows is a responsibility that all property owners share.
As a property owner in Newport, you must clear snow, sleet, and ice from sidewalks and curb ramps abutting your property.
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.
Simply put, we're looking for an accessible path of travel. While the rule is three hours, we try to be reasonable for deciding when we start the clock. Our goal isn't to fine you. We just want people — especially youth and seniors — to be able to get around safely.
Don’t shovel or push snow into the street. If you do, the City may fine you.
Remove ice to bare pavement or make as level as possible and treat with sand, sawdust, or similar material. Every year dozens of people are seriously injured slipping and falling on sidewalks.
43 Broadway, Newport, RI 02840
Phone: (401) 845-5300 (M-F 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
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