Winter Operations

1

Snow Plowing Streets & Parking Lots

The Wellesley Department of Public Works is responsible for plowing and ice control for over 110 miles of Town roads and 32 Town parking lots. 

 Wellesley’s DPW in cooperation with the Wellesley Police monitors winter weather and road conditions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with salter and snow plow crews on call to work during the winter season. In most cases when reliable forecasts are available, the Department will have employees and equipment scheduled in advance to treat and plow roads.

 During all storm events our highest priority is to provide safe passage for emergency vehicles and coordinate any required school or public building closures due to weather. At the end of most snow storms it will take another 3 to 4 hours for DPW plows to properly push back snow and intersections. So please be patient while having to clear your driveway.

 If you hire a private contractor for snow removal, instruct the contractor not to push snow into the public way (into the street or onto the sidewalk) or across the street from the mouth of your driveway. This is a violation of Town bylaws, and the property owner could be fined up to $50 per offense. Similarly, remind your contractor not to plow snow onto fire hydrants in your neighborhood.

 We remind all motorists that Town bylaws also prohibit overnight street parking. The DPW may be required to have illegally parked vehicles that interfere with our snow plowing operations towed at the owner’s expense. Also, please do not park your vehicle in the public way portion of the driveway—the last eight feet of the driveway nearest to the road. This puts your vehicle at risk, can impede snow removal on the sidewalk and street.2

Snow Fort Warning! 

Kids love to make snow forts and igloos on top of and inside big piles of snow. It’s natural for kids to want to play in the biggest snow pile, because it makes for a bigger fort. But the biggest snow piles are often close to the road, which creates an extreme hazard for children when snowplows are in operation. Please be aware that even after the snow has stopped, snowplows may still be “pushing back” snow to widen travel lanes, and may not see your child if he/she is playing in a snow pile close to the road.   So have fun with snow forts and igloos, but well away from roads.

3

Snow Plowing Sidewalks

The Town plows 55 miles of sidewalks (along designated school routes and in commercial areas) passable and safe for travel. During any serve storm our highest priority is sidewalks in commercial areas and at least on one side of main streets. At the end of a snow fall it will take another 12 to 72 hours for DPW sidewalk plows to properly all 55 miles of sidewalk. This is dependent on the amount of snow and length of a storm. 

If you hire a private contractor for snow removal, instruct the contractor not to push snow into the public way (into the street or onto the sidewalk) or across the street from the mouth of your driveway.

SidewalkRoutes_Townwide_2024

 Commercial Areas 

 All store owners must remove all planters, signs, outdoor furniture or other fixtures from sidewalk before a storm. These items make it difficult for sidewalk plow operators to safely maneuver their equipment in tight spaces. The Town will not be responsible for items left out in the sidewalk during plowing operations. While sidewalk tractor will clear snow and treat ice while passing storefronts, store owners are responsible for their entrance ways.

5

Winter Snow Tips:

 1) If possible, wait until the street is plowed before shoveling the end of your driveway. Most roads are pushed back several times and takes 3 to 4 hours before the plow trucks have completed their routes.

2) When plowing or snow blowing your driveway, please do not move the snow into or across the road or into the sidewalk. It is against Town bylaws to do so—it creates hazardous conditions for drivers and walkers and increases the cost of snow plowing.

 3) If the weather is calling for snow turning to freezing rain, try to wait and shovel your driveway after the freezing rain stops. This will help prevent your driveway from icing.

 4) Plow drivers work long, often dark hours during a storm, and it is difficult to determine the exact center of the road in these conditions. Despite our best efforts, one side of the road may end up with more snow than the other side.

 5) It is not uncommon to see a salting truck or snowplow go by your house many times during a storm, particularly on routes that lead to outlying areas.  The storm will dictate how many times we sand or plow a street.

 6) When driving during a storm, do not pass a plow or sander and maintain a safe distance.
 7) If possible, please shovel the fire hydrant near your home as well as any storm drain grates after the storm. If rain follows the snow, street flooding and icing can quickly become a problem.
 8) Do not plant trees or shrubs, or place rocks close to the edge of the road. This makes them subject to accidental damage by the sanders and snowplows.

 9) To ensure regular mail delivery by the U.S. Postal Service, clear snow around the mailbox.  Mailboxes placed in the right-of-way are placed at the owner’s risk.   Each mailbox installation should be sufficiently solid to withstand snow-clearing efforts.

10) To help protect your lawn and better guide street and sidewalk plow operators please place reflective snow stakes along the edges of your landscape.  

11) Winter sand/salt is available for residents free of charge at the RDF.

6

Adopt a Fire Hydrant

The DPW and Wellesley Fire-Rescue Department are asking for your assistance in clearing fire hydrants of snow in your neighborhood this winter season. There are over 1,400 hydrants in Wellesley and each one is potentially vital in the event of an emergency. 

Adopt a Hydrant in 4 easy steps:
1. Visit the Wellesley Adopt a Hydrant map application.
 
2. Pan and zoom to your neighborhood or search for an address using the search bar. In the search bar, start typing your address and matching results will begin to show. Click on the result that matches the address you’re looking for and the map will zoom to your neighborhood.
 
3. Click on the Adopt a Hydrant tool in the top right corner and then select any RED hydrant to adopt it, the GREEN hydrants have already been adopted.
 
4. Enter your information into the form and click SAVE. Changes may take up to 30 seconds to appear.
 
Please be careful and aware of roadway traffic and thank you for volunteering to keep our neighborhoods safe!
If you have any questions or concerns for the Highway Division, please call 781-235-7600, ext. 3325 Monday-Friday, 7 am to 3 pm or send an e-mail to dpw@wellesleyma.gov.

If you have an emergency after regular business hours, please call 781-235-7600, ext. 3322

Mass D.O.T. Roads in Wellesley

 Routes 9 and 135 (Central Street from Weston Road to the Natick town line) are maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (Mass DOT). If you have any concerns about State roads, contact Mass DOT (District #6) at 617-951-6200.