Albany's Declared a Snow Emergency - Now What?
When the snow starts to fall in Albany, many of you may be wondering where to park to avoid a fine, as well as who is responsible for clearing the sidewalk in front of where you live. See what constitutes a snow emergency, what your responsibility is with snow removal, how the parking regulations change, and learn some helpful tips for shoveling.
What Is Considered to Be a Snow Emergency? How Will You Know?
During a major snow event, a snow emergency will likely be declared in Albany. Snow emergencies are primarily called based on street conditions after a snow event.
Total accumulation is one factor, but the city will take into account the amount of snow already on the street prior to the storm and whether another storm is forecasted for the near future. The temperatures on the day of the storm and the days immediately following it will also be taken into consideration.
When a snow emergency is announced,you'll find out through news media radio and television, message boards, signs placed throughout the city, and through the Albany Police Department's social media.
Snow Removal & Your Responsibilities
The Department of General Services (DGS) is responsible for all snow plowing and ice treatment of over 250 miles of city streets. DGS hires outside contractors to help with the plowing and removal of snow and ice for over 670 city streets.
As of December 1, 2017, the City of Albany Code no longer provides for an additional 24-hour notice to be given to property owners or occupants prior to the City of Albany Department of General Services correcting the violation and imposing a fine.
City Code now states property owners and occupants must clear all sidewalks adjacent to their property within 24 hours of the cessation of a snowfall. City Code continues to require sidewalks to be cleared five feet in width, or in their entirety if less than five feet wide, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
If your sidewalk is not in compliance within 24 hours of the cessation of the last snowfall, the Department of General Services may clear the sidewalk of snow and ice, and the property owner will be issued a bill for the cost of removal, and charged a fine.
Please also keep fire hydrants clear.
The fines the city can issue for unshoveled sidewalks are:
- First violation: $100
- Second violation within the same calendar year of the first violation: $200
- Third violation within the same calendar year of the first violation: $300
- Each violation after that within the same calendar year of the first violation: $300
At no time should anyone shovel, snow blow, or plow any snow or ice into the city streets or crosswalks. Violators may be fined up to $100 per violation, plus the cost of removal.
Parking Regulations During a Snow Emergency
During a snow emergency, normal parking regulations are temporarily suspended and parking is only allowed on the even side of the street for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours from the start of the snow emergency, residents must move their vehicles to the odd numbered side of streets for the next 24 hours, or until the emergency is declared over.
The city tries to give residents sufficient time to plan ahead by giving approximately 12 hours of notice before parking restrictions take effect.
Permitted Parking Locations During a Snow Emergency
Arbor Hill / Sheridan Hollow
- Parking Area, Arbor Hill Softball Field (North Lark Street)
- 230 Colonie Street (playground lot)
- 178 Colonie Street (playground lot)
- Ten Broeck Mansion (parking lot)
- Ridgefield Park (on Partridge Street)
- Woodlawn Park Little League
- Waterson Park (Westland Hills) Enter On Colvin Avenue or Austain Avenue
- Washington Park (all roadways and parking areas)
- Krank Park Area
- Franklin Street (between Schuyler Street & Bassett Street - east side)
- Lincoln Park (all interior roadways & parking area)
- Frisbee Avenue parking lot (between Second Avenue and McCarty Avenue)
Center Square / Mansion
- 77 Philip Street (playground)
- 88 Philip Street (playground)
- 179 Myrtle Avenue (in front of Community Gardens)
- Hackett Park parking lot across from North Albany Post
- Bleecker Stadium (parking area & roadways)
- North Side of Livingston Avenue, Tivoli Park (opposite Judson Street)
Snow Shoveling Tips
- Shoveling is hard work. Shovel for five to seven minutes then rest for two to three.
- Shovel early and often. New snow is lighter than heavily packed and partially melted snow.
- Try to push the snow instead of lifting.
- Lift properly and safetly to avoid back injuries: bend from your back and not your knees, walk to dump the snow rather than throwing it, hold the shovel close to your body, allow ample space between your hands on the shovel, and avoid twisting while lifting.
Find More Information
For information on snow emergencies and winter weather events, call the Albany Snow Hotline at 518.476.SNOW.
For questions on how snow emergencies are handled, or to file a complaint with the exact address and cross streets of the location that hasn't been shoveled, call the City of Albany at 518.434.CITY.
If you get towed, call the Albany Police Department at 518.438.4000 to find the location of the tow lot.