Do you have a plan in the event of snow? We do! And we want to help you to be ready too.
As part of our winter weather response plan, SDOT commits to clearing snow from identified routes on our Winter Weather snow and ice route map throughout the city within 12 hours of a significant lull in the storm. The map can help you know what to expect.
SDOT’s snow routes show the level of service planned for each street, not which streets will be plowed first. These streets were selected because they are the busiest streets that connect Seattle’s neighborhoods with downtown and the greater Puget Sound region.
Levels of Service
Gold Snow Routes: These are streets of regional importance for hospitals, buses, large trucks and major employers. SDOT’s objective is to provide bare and wet pavement over all travel lanes within 12 hours of a significant lull in the storm.
Emerald Snow Routes: These are streets of citywide importance for hospitals, buses and general traffic. SDOT’s objective is to provide bare and wet pavement for one lane in each direction within 12 hours of a significant lull in the storm.
Coordination with the Bus System
SDOT and King County Metro Transit have worked carefully to make sure that SDOT’s snow routes meet the needs of the transit–riding public. The snow routes include the streets that Metro buses use when it snows.
There are some streets that SDOT crews will not be able to plow or treat with salt. These are the lesser traveled streets, and streets on hills that often become unsafe for the public and for SDOT trucks during periods of ice and snow.
Our crews know which steep streets often become unsafe for driving when it snows. When Seattle Police decide a street is unsafe for driving, they move a Street Closed sign into the middle of the road. For your safety, it is important to obey the Street Closed signs even if a street looks safe to you. There may be ice under the snow, or there may be a trouble spot that you can’t see.
Remember, SDOT does not plow non-arterial streets. Businesses and residents are responsible for shoveling and de-icing the sidewalks next to their property.
See a larger online version of our Snow Route map here.