This is how the City of Spokane will respond to snow and what it expects of residents

The City of Spokane’s official snow season has begun and with it comes a plan for how to deal with the winter months.

The city has 105 employees on its snowplow teams. Many of them have gone through several years of training to learn how to work all the equipment.

“Our teams have been tuning up equipment, ordering up supplies or deicer and sand and practicing right here behind us on the snowplow obstacle course,” said Spokane Mayor David Condon last month.

The city outlined key components of the plan, which includes obligations that the city will uphold and what is expected of residents


The city promises that when it snows, even if it is only one or two inches, that crews will plow all streets, including residential. Crews will complete the plow work primarily during regular day shifts on Monday through Friday to hold down costs.

Utility crews will also help the Street Department with efforts sooner and more equipment will be available on a regular basis for plowing.

During a larger snowfall of four inches or more, the city will “up” the effort and bring in more crews and equipment. Those crews will be on the street around the clock until plowing is finished, with a goal of completing the work in three days.

Crew members will work 12-hour shifts during large snow events.

Driveway Berms and Sidewalks

City spokesperson Marlene Feist says the Street Department has outfitted 16 pieces of equipment with gates that allow plow drivers to avoid placing snow across driveways or alley access points.

The gates are aimed at reducing driveway berms in residential areas, but Feist said they are still a possibility, especially on frequently plowed arterials.

Crews will also plow away from the curb to help keep snow away from driveways and sidewalks, and snow may also be pushed into the center median in some cases, Feist said.

Property owners are responsible for clearing the sidewalks adjacent to their properties. The city asks that they clear a 36-inch path to allow school children, people with disabilities, bus riders and other pedestrians to move safely in the community. The goal is to complete this work by 9 a.m. after a snowfall.

Those who cannot clear their snow, such as seniors or those with disabilities, can call 311 to connect with volunteer services that could help.


The city also has certain expectations of residents when it snows, particularly when it comes to parking.

Residents are asked to park on the odd side of the street in residential areas until March 15 in order to make it easier for plow drivers to do their work.

On-street parking downtown will be prohibited between midnight and 6 a.m. on snowy days so parking bays can be plowed. Vehicles parked during prohibited times are subject to towing.

Signs indicate the rule, which encompasses the boundaries of Maple to Division Streets and I-90 to the Spokane River. Parking options for snow days are available under the freeway and in off-street surface parking lots.

Recreational vehicles, boats and trailers must be moved off the street to winter storage locations or be subject to towing, Feist added.

Another important winter driving note: when driving near plows, pass on the left. The driver might not see you if you’re driving on the plow’s right.

CAPITAL PROJECTS NOTIFICATION:   (UPDATE!!) Traffic Lights Ft. George Wright Drive

After further review of the previous plan, due to safety concerns, the scheduled installation of the STA installed traffic light poles at the intersection of Elliott and W. Fort George Wright Drives has been modified.  The revised schedule dates have changed and access from South Elliott onto W. Fort George Wright Drive will restricted from November 13th through November 16th.

Background:  The new scheduled traffic pole installation dates minimizes the amount of days to complete the project from 8 to 4 days.  This effort requires a complete shutdown to SFCC access of the South end of Elliott accessing W. Fort George Wright Drive.

WHAT:                  Installation of light poles to complete current SFCC STA Project (access restriction of South Elliot on to W. Fort George Wright Drive)

WHEN:                  Starting  November 13th and ending November 16th.

WHERE:                Intersection of Elliott and W. Fort George Wright Drives

WHY:                     To move toward completion of current SFCC STA Project and provide safe access from SFCC to W. Fort George Wright Drive.

Stoplights Slated for Installation Nov. 12th on Ft. Wright Drive


The STA construction team plans to move forward with installation of the traffic light poles at the Intersection of Elliott and W. Fort George Wright Drives starting 12 November.  The flagger directed traffic control will be in place for up to 8 days during the installation with one entry lane and one exit lane open at all times.

WHAT:                  Installation of traffic light poles to complete SFCC/STA Project

WHEN:                  Starting 12 November to 21 November (approximate)

WHERE:                Intersection of Elliott and W. Fort George Wright Drives

WHY:                     To move toward completion of current SFCC STA Project and provide safe access from SFCC to W. Fort George Wright Drive.

Traffic Alert!!! –Intermittent Traffic Control on Fort George Wright

Please note that intermittent traffic control on Fort George Wright Drive has commenced August 8, 2019.

In preparation for the new traffic light signals at the intersection of Fort George Wright Drive and Elliot Drive, the Spokane Transit Authority (STA) will implement intermittent traffic control on Fort George Wright Drive from 9 a.m.  to 3 p.m. starting August 8, 2019 and continuing up to two weeks. The subcontractor will only be closing one lane at a time starting with the east bound lanes.

Basketball Hoops

Basketball hoops left on city streets and right of ways violate Spokane Municipal  Section 12.02.0737, “Obstruction of Public Right of Way.” Basketball hoops are not allowed on City streets at any time. A complaint to the City may be filed anonymously, but the complainant must have a view of the obstruction.

This is still the policy, but the City is exploring adjustments to it in the name of exercise promotion.

Animal/Pet Issues

SCRAPS  handles animal complaints, pet lost and found, pet licensing, etc. There is also a link to an online complaint form available on this site.  SCRAPS’ telephone number is: 509-477-2532.

The CC&Rs allow off-leash, well-behaved dogs under voice control on the River Run trails, but the sidewalks are still under City of Spokane jurisdiction (leashes required).

Please keep assertive/aggressive dogs on leash at all times.

The CC&R’s specifically prohibit annoying or nuisance issues on anyone’s property. This includes excessive dog barking. Please be a conscientious dog owner/neighbor and be mindful of your dog’s barking. REMEMBER THAT YOUR DOGS WILL BARK EVEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT HOME ! !

In addition, there is a CC&R limit of no more than two usual and ordinary household pets.


The River Run CC&R’s allow trailers and RV’s street/driveway access for up to 48 hours.

There are more trailers around in the summer months. Please do not abuse this and be communicative with your neighbors.

Winter Is Here!!!

The City of Spokane specifies snow removal requirements at its website:

Citizens and businesses must keep their sidewalks shoveled. The City is asking citizens to clear a 36-inch path to allow pedestrians to travel effectively, with a goal of completion by 9 a.m. after a snowfall. Citizens also are asked to clear a pedestrian path even if no sidewalk exists. It’s about being a good neighbor. By City ordinance, adjacent property owners are responsible for keeping the sidewalks clear and safe, and liability issues rest with the adjacent property owner, not the City. Seniors or disabled individuals who can’t maintain their own sidewalks can call 3-1-1 to get information on volunteer services.

New city plows will try to eliminate driveway berms, and here’s a tip—shovel to the right of your driveway when you’re looking at the street. That prevents plows from pushing snow you shoveled back into the driveway.

And, please, any snow blowing should not be aimed in the street! Cars parked on the street must be moved based on plow scheduling.


Paving Project Alert – Sunset Boulevard from Royal Street to Lindeke Street

Commencing July 23, 2018, the City of Spokane will repave Sunset Boulevard between the intersections of Royal St. and Lindeke Street.  South Lindeke is essentially the extension of Government Way as it intersects with Sunset Highway.  The construction will go up Sunset Hill past the turnoff to Indian Canyon G.C. The $2,500,000.00 renovation will reduce the street from four vehicle lanes to three lanes and one bicycle strip.  The road will remain open during construction.  More information on the project  is available at the City’s web page.