Snow Plowing: What Montgomery Does, How Residents Can Help

Snow Plowing: What Montgomery Does, How Residents Can Help

Posted on December 6, 2016

Clearing township roads when snow storms hit is more logistically challenging than you might think.  Residents play an important role. Please read down to find out how.  Your cooperation and patience are needed and appreciated!

Montgomery Township has approximately 260 lane-miles of roadway. Lane-miles are different than road miles; each mile of road has two lanes; the equivalent of two miles of maintenance and materials. A plow is not as wide as a road lane.  Therefore one lane-mile can take two to four passes of the plow, making a lane-mile equal to two to four miles of driving/maintenance. Montgomery also has over 250 cul-de-sacs.  Each cul-de-sac is equivalent to one mile of road in terms of maintenance and plowing (time and material).

For long duration snow storms, our goal is to maintain travel and accessibility for emergency vehicles by “opening up” roads (one pass each direction) and skipping cul-de-sacs until later.  This process will be repeated continuously until the storm slows down and then curb-to-curb plowing commences.

Curb-to-curb clearing is completed after the snow storm ends.  Curb-to-curb is necessary for mail delivery; to open inlets for water drainage; and clearance for additional snow storms.

Each snow storm is unique – temperature, snowfall duration and depth, icing, etc. Plowing begins prior to the end of the snowfall.  An average storm takes approximately 12 hours to clean-up (plowing and/or salting) after the last snowflake falls. A snow storm of 12 hours plus the 12 hour clean-up process, means 24 (or more) straight hours of work.  Your patience is appreciated.

Here are some guidelines for residents that help us:

  • Montgomery Township has an ordinance which prohibits “parking on street” during snow emergencies which is strictly enforced.
  • DO NOT put snow into the roadway as you clear your driveway and/or sidewalk.  Throw snow off the road and ‘downdrift’ of the plow, which means to the right of your driveway when facing the street.  Snow piled ‘updrift’ is more likely to end up back in your driveway.
  • If you clear driveways/sidewalks before plowing is done curb-to-curb, expect to have snow that comes off the plow at the end of the driveway or in the sidewalk.
  • Due to snow coming off the plow, mailboxes can be damaged. It is not the intent of the driver to damage a mailbox. If your mailbox is damaged, email DPW at:
  • Do not place trash cans or recycling cans out until the plows have passed.
  • Please watch children and keep them out of the plows’ path and harm’s way.

Mailboxes can be damaged

If your mailbox is down because of a snow plow and you live on a County Road (see County Road list under “Potholes”), please email your name, telephone number, address (& nearest cross street) and include any photos of the mailbox to Somerset County Road Department at

If your mailbox is down because of a snow plow, and you live on a Township Road, please email your name, telephone number, address (& nearest cross street) and any photos of the mailbox, to There is no set schedule as to when the mailbox will be repaired. Public Works is balancing their workload to accommodate priority issues. In the meantime, please make arrangements with your Post Office to have your mail held until the mailbox is repaired. Doing this will ensure that your mail is safe until you retrieve it.

If snow is piled up around the mailbox so that the post office cannot deliver mail, you have a couple of options:

  1. Have your mail held at the post office until the snow has melted and mail delivery can be resumed,
  2. Consider clearing the snow away from your mailbox

Storm Drains can get blocked

To report that a storm drain is blocked because snow has been plowed onto the side of the road, please email your name, telephone number, and the address where the storm drain is located, to Public Works will prioritize these issues. If the storm drain is clogged with a small amount of snow, we appreciate your effort to clear the snow away from the drain as much as possible.  Thank you!

We all appreciate the cooperation of our residents in following these snow clearing guidelines the next time and every time a snowstorm hits.  Remember our crews are out there working hard, doing their best to serve you.

Source: Montgomery Twp. Public Works