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Snow emergency and parking ban to be lifted Friday at 7 a.m.

Boston Public Schools buildings will reopen on Friday for students currently learning in-person. Residents are urged to abide by snow regulations and offer help to older adults and neighbors with disabilities in shoveling.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the declared snow emergency and parking ban will be lifted at 7 a.m. on Friday, December 18, giving residents parked in participating discounted lots or garages until 9 a.m. to move their cars before regular rates resume. The Public Works Department (PWD) currently has almost 300 pieces of snow and ice control equipment on Boston’s streets and is treating streets with salt, following a snow storm that resulted in 12.5 inches of snow.

"I'd like to thank the people of Boston for their great compliance with the snow emergency and parking ban," said Mayor Walsh. "It allows our hardworking crews to effectively and efficiently plow the snow, making our streets safer for all. I ask everyone to keep up the good work and continue to keep sidewalks and pedestrian ramps in front of your properties clear. This is a great way to help make your neighborhood safer and more accessible for everyone, especially for older residents and those with disabilities." 

Residents are able to look up towed cars on the City of Boston's online database, call the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) at 617-635-3900 or call the Boston Police Department at 617-343-4629 to find out which tow company was used if it was not towed by BTD.  

Boston City Hall and 1010 Massachusetts Avenue will reopen tomorrow to the public. Boston Public Schools buildings will reopen for students who are currently learning in-person. All other students will return to a full day of remote learning. Boston Public Library locations will be open for BPL To Go services. Boston Centers for Youth & Families in-person programming is set to resume. 

As a reminder, trash and recycling pick-up was cancelled citywide today. Neighborhoods with a Thursday and Friday pick-up schedule will be delayed by one day. Residents are encouraged to download the Trash Day App. Street sweeping is cancelled until further notice. Some COVID-19 testing sites were closed on Thursday. Please check each site’s hours of operation and call before going. 

Rules on clearing snow:

  • Property owners must fully clear snow, sleet and ice from sidewalks and curb ramps abutting the property within three hours after the snowfall ends or within three hours after sunrise if the snow ends overnight. For this storm, snow will have ended after sunset; consequently, residents have until 10 a.m. tomorrow to complete clearing their sidewalk. We highly encourage people to clear their sidewalk sooner. Curb and pedestrian ramps to the street should be cleared fully and continually over the duration of the storm to ensure accessibility for individuals with disabilities. 
  • Do not throw snow from the sidewalk or private property into the street. 
  • Failure to comply with the rules can result in fines issued by the Code Enforcement Division. Fines associated with failing to shovel sidewalks or throwing snow from private property onto public streets can be found online.

Bitterly cold weather between 14 and 30 degrees is expected on Friday into Saturday. Street outreach teams will operate with extended hours and provide mobile outreach vans on the streets in the evening and throughout the day. Residents are reminded if you see homeless and vulnerable individuals out in the cold who appear immobile, disoriented or underdressed for the cold, please call 911.

Safety tips:

  • Keep catch basins and fire hydrants clear. For a map of catch basins and fire hydrants, visit the Water and Sewer website. You can assist in keeping hydrants clear of snow so the Boston Fire Department can access them quickly in case of emergency.
  • Shoveling snow requires significant exertion; please be cautious and pay attention to symptoms. Stop if you feel chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheaded, nauseous/vomiting. Call 911 if those symptoms do not resolve quickly.
  • Please take extra care on our streets while walking or driving, staying alert for other people on the road.  
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning is a concern during winter weather, especially with the use of generators. Residents should use their home heating systems wisely and safely, and have a working carbon monoxide detector on each floor of the home. Call 911 immediately if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Sitting in a car while idling can be deadly if the tailpipe is blocked. Do not let children sit in an idling car while shoveling. Clear any household exhaust pipes of snow like gas exhaust from the heating system or dryer.
  • Have a contractor check the roof to see if snow needs to be removed. If roof snow can be removed from the ground with the use of a snow-rake, do so with caution. Avoid working from ladders and be mindful of slippery surfaces. 

Residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency notifications through AlertBoston and call 311 for non-emergency related issues. Please follow @CityofBoston and visit our Winter in Boston for the latest updates.

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