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Snow storm update: Where we stand as we head into the New Year weekend, plus a few important safety reminders

An SDOT employee operates a grader (a large snow plow) to help clear Seattle streets. Photo credit: SDOT

Since snow first arrived to the Seattle area over the December 25-26 weekend, our crews have been working tirelessly to help clear roads across the city and provide reliable access routes for transit and emergency services as part of our winter weather response plan. When another round of snow fell overnight and early this morning, December 30, we continued plowing roads and treating streets to help prevent ice from forming. See where our snow plows have been on our storm response map, which is updated regularly.

We appreciate your continued patience, perseverance, and partnership as we work to keep everyone safe when they must travel in snow and ice. We also appreciate the dedication of our frontline workers, who changed their holiday family plans and have put in many shifts day and night to help keep Seattle moving. Thank you.

As temperatures remain low and snow is falling again this evening, we strongly encourage people driving to limit non-essential trips, and to know there might be ice on streets, even if you can’t see it. People walking, rolling, and biking should also stay vigilant for icy conditions on sidewalks and trails throughout the city. Please go slow and leave yourself extra room to stop if you need to travel – and keep an eye out for other travelers around you.

Two people walk in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood. Patches of snow are visible along the street. Several large buildings and the Seattle Center Monorail tracks are visible in the upper left of the photo.
Two people walk down 5th Ave in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, past a cleared curb ramp near the Seattle Center Monorail. Photo credit: SDOT

Did you know everyone can pitch in to help keep sidewalks clear, safe, and accessible after a snowstorm?

It is everyone’s responsibility to shovel the sidewalks around their home or business. When everyone does their part, it adds up and makes a huge difference.

It isn’t just the law, it’s the right thing to do so that everyone can travel safely, particularly people who are blind, disabled, or have a harder time getting around. This short YouTube video we created in partnership with Rooted in Rights explains why this is so important.

Our crews are also working to shovel sidewalks located away from privately-owned buildings, including 30 outdoor stairways, dozens of pedestrian overpasses, and approximately 1,200 sidewalk curb ramps throughout the city. For the past week, our SDOT street use inspectors have been visiting busy neighborhoods to knock on doors of businesses who did not shovel their sidewalks and remind them of their legal responsibility.

People walk along the sidewalk in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood. Snow and slush are visible in areas of the street and sidewalks, and two sidewalk curb ramps are visible near the botton of the photo. A large building and several trees are also visible.
People walk along 5th Ave and Vine St in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. These sidewalks and curb ramps have been cleared, but people walking and rolling should remain vigilant for the possibility of ice and frozen slush when they need to travel. Photo credit: SDOT

Quick links to important resources:

As we head into the new year this weekend, here are our best tools and resources for you to stay informed – and safe – if you need to travel. Check out the links below to learn more:

The weather forecast calls for temperatures to stay cold, but then potentially start to slowly warm up over the weekend and next week as we begin to return to more typical winter Seattle weather in the new year. However, until we reach that point, we again ask you to please keep safety top of mind when you need to travel, particularly being aware of the potential for icy streets and sidewalks. By going slow, leaving extra space, and keeping an eye out for others, you are making a big difference to help keep everyone safe.

A large snow plow is parked on pavement, ready to return to work clearing streets in Seattle. Several other smaller vehicles and large trees are visible in the background.
An SDOT employee operates a large snow plow to help clear Seattle streets. Photo credit: SDOT

From everyone here at SDOT, we wish you a Happy New Year, and hope you remain safe, healthy, and warm in the days ahead!