FAQS about snowplowing operations

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About 
Elgin’s Snowplowing Operations

Why does my driveway get plowed in? 

Snow accumulations at driveway entrances by plows are unavoidable. The plows have to push snow from the middle of the streets to their sides to clear the way for traffic and make it easier for on-street parking.

We understand your frustration when this occurs and appreciate your patience and cooperation as crews work around the clock to provide the highest level of service in the northwest suburbs.

Why can't the drivers adjust their plow at each driveway?

Plow drivers cannot stop, lift or tilt their plow for every driveway because it will leave a snow pile in the road, slowing down the plowing process.  

How can I help prevent snow from ending up in my driveway?  

In addition to city ordinance prohibiting residents from depositing snow in city streets, any snow that is deposited on the street will end up pushed back into the driveway.

Help prevent additional shoveling by:

  • Piling snow on one side of the driveway.
  • Clearing an area on the other side of the driveway to allow the plow to unload snow before it gets to the driveway.


What happens if there is an emergency? 

Police and fire responding to emergencies during snow and ice conditions are given top priority and plow drivers will assist them at those times. If there is an emergency, call 911. 

Please note that drive aprons being blocked do not represent an emergency. 

Why does the snow plow make multiple passes on my street when the road looks fine?

It is a priority to get snow as close to the curb as possible after an accumulating snow event. Sometimes it takes multiple passes to do so.

It has been snowing for 10 hours, and I haven't seen one plow in my neighborhood. Why?  

Plow drivers service more than 380 center lane miles and are working through 26 designated routes, both residential and arterial. All plowing operations are occurring at the same time.

  • 18 residential routes are serviced by 18 trucks. 
  • 8 designated routes address arterial streets. 

Why isn't my cul de sac plowed? 

Contract crews assist with the more than 320 cul de sacs in addition to dead end roads and alleys, which generally have low use. Clearance of these road segments can take up to 12 hours after a snow event has ended. 

Why am I required to move my car? 

Vehicles left on the roadways prevent the plows from fully clearing the streets. The first example below shows what happens when vehicles are not moved from streets and the second example shows what's left when vehicles are moved after a plow has gone through.

Car on street that did not move before plowing operations began.
After a car has moved

  • Parking is prohibited on any street designated as a snow emergency route for a period of 24 hours following the accumulation of two or more inches of snow. 
  • Vehicles parked on designated snow routes following the accumulation of two or more inches of snow will be ticketed and towed. 

My vehicle was towed. Who do I call? 

There is no parking on designated snow emergency routes for 24 hours following a snow event with two inches or more. The Elgin Police Department will make their best effort to contact vehicle owners before any enforcement action is taken. 

If your vehicle was towed, you may call 847-931-2700, the non-emergency number for the Elgin Police Department or the city's contracted towing vendors: 

Redmon's Towing, 847-895-6162 
1275 Spaulding Road

Artie's Towing847-888-0611 
150 Woodview Drive

My mailbox was damaged by a snowplow. How do I report it and will it be replaced? 

Residents may call 311 to report the damage or confirm that the damage has already been noted. 

If damage was determined to be caused by a city snowplow hitting the mailbox, a temporary mailbox will be provided. The resident’s mailbox is brought back to the Public Works facility to be repaired. If damage is beyond repair, a standard mailbox and/or post will be installed by city crews.

My sod was damaged by a snow plow. What should I do? 

Please notify the city by contacting the 311 Contact Center at 311. The damage will be assessed. If it is determined that the damage was caused by snow operations, site restoration will take place in the spring.

How do I report a concern? 

Reach out to the 311 Contact Center by phone at 311 or 847-931-6001, email or through the online customer portal. 311 Citizen Advocates are available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.