Winter Operations

Keeping Cincinnati moving safely during the winter is our primary goal. The Department of Public Services maintains 2,835 lane miles within a 79-square-mile area.

We ask for your patience as we first focus our efforts on treating the City's primary and secondary routes. Primary routes include some hills, bridges, main thoroughfares and the City's downtown business district.

The City's streets are cleared as a priority to improve the safety and travel conditions for the public.

Weather Alerts

The City of Cincinnati follows the Snow Emergency levels announced by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office:

  • Level I Snow Alert: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow.
  • Level II Snow Advisory: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work.
  • Level III Snow Emergency: All Municipal, Township, County, and State roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be out during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel. Those traveling on the roadways may subject themselves to arrest.

Operation Snow

Operation Snow is a program designed to enlist the community in helping the City treat the streets. Anytime a winter storm is forecasted by the National Weather Service to affect rush hour traffic, the City Manager would broadcast an Operation Snow declaration. The City Manager will advise area employers and schools of the potential for significant travel delays and request the voluntary cooperation of major employers to release their non-essential employees early.

Operation Snow will rely on the use of an extensive notification list to provide this warning to citizens in advance of the approaching storm. This will help to minimize rush hour delays from occurring, which may leave employees stuck in traffic and may hinder the City's capacity to treat streets and roadways because snow treating trucks are delayed by traffic.