Winter Guide

Washington Square Clock covered with snowDuring snowstorms, the Town removes snow and ice from roadways as efficiently and effectively as possible while keeping the roads open and essential traffic moving safely. For municipal crews to accomplish this goal community cooperation is required.

New England winters often bring extreme cold, heavy snow, ice, and sleet, and can pose serious hazards. Every storm develops differently depending on temperature, wind, moisture content, snow accumulation per hour and duration. The DPW removes snow and ice from over 250 lane miles of roadway, 47 miles of sidewalk, 26 school and municipal properties, 15 public parking lots, and 33 public parks and paths. Major arterial roadways, hills and intersections are often treated before plow operations commence, usually after 2" of snow has fallen. Snow plowing operations remain underway until all roadways are cleared adequately for the safety of the traveling public. 

Immediately after a storm, snow banks are pushed back to the curb line, and in some cases removed, in order to provide for adequate storage space for future storms. Please consider this timetable when clearing your driveway, front walkway, and sidewalks, so that you may not be disappointed when a snowplow passes by after the snow has stopped falling. 

Please be considerate of the huge responsibility that DPW employees have before, during and after each storm. 

Check out our Winter Brochure (PDF) to stay informed on protocols and best practices. DPW ensures the safety of Brookline residents during the winter season.

Snow Removal Tips

  1. If physically limited or out of town, it is still the property owner's responsibility to make arrangements to clear the sidewalk.
  2. Clear openings at intersections and crosswalks so pedestrians can cross safely.
  3. Apply ice-melt product frequently to prevent snow from packing down and forming ice.
  4. Help the Public Safety Department by clearing catch basins and snow covered fire hydrants adjacent to your property.

Trash & Recycling

Dumpsters in the Snow with red 'not allowed' circle

To keep your trash and recycling service running smoothly during the snow season, please follow these tips below:

  • Shovel a path for your recycling and waste carts.
  • Make sure carts are clear of snow and ice.
  • Places carts close to the street. Carts will not be picked up behind snow banks. 
  • Leave a 12-inch space on either side of the recycling and waste carts to provide easy access for the trucks' automated arms.
  • Loose recycling and waste will not be picked up unless placed in the recycling and waste carts. 

Snow Removal: It's the Law 

Brookline's bylaws require property owners to maintain sidewalks contiguous to their property in a clear and non-slippery condition suitable for pedestrian travel by clearing all snow and ice from a pathway of at least thirty-six (36) inches in width. 

The cleared walk must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, including the removal of snow and ice from any adjoining wheelchair ramps or curb cuts, including corner and mid-block curb ramps and portions of driveways crossing sidewalks. Please help all members of our community move safely through Town. 

  • Single-family and multi-family residences (of 4 families/units or less) must comply with this bylaw within 24 hours of a storm's end. *Exception: Compliance is required after 30 hours when a storm ends between 4 pm on Friday and 12 Noon on Saturday
  • Commercial properties and multi-family residences (of 5 families/units or more) must comply within 3 hours of a storm's end. *Exception: Compliance is required 3 hours after sunrise when a storm ends between sunset and sunrise. 

The storm's end time will be posted on our Brookline DPW Website. Please see the town's bylaw, Article 7.7 "Removal of Snow and Ice from Sidewalks" for detailed information.

If a property owner does not clear the sidewalk(s) and ramps contiguous to their property, in compliance with the Town's sidewalk bylaw, you you could be issued fines ranging from $100-$250 per day.

Parking Ban

During a declared snow emergency/parking ban, there is NO on-street parking in the Town of Brookline. This includes all parking meters regardless of Town issued parking permits or handicap placards or plates. All unauthorized vehicles remaining on the street or in the public lots will be issued citations and towed by the Brookline Police Department. 

*Residents with permits to park overnight in the Town-owned lots are not required to move their vehicles until 9am after the parking ban is lifted.

Stay Informed

  • Sign up for alerts through AlertBrookline
  • Visit the Town website
  • Call the Seasonal Information Line for a recorded message at: 617-730-2610
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Find us on Facebook
  • Watch Brookline Interactive Group local access station 3, Municipal ch. 23/15

Report a Problem

To report a snow or ice issue on a street or sidewalk:

  • Download the BrookONline app on your smartphone
  • Visit the Town website and click "Report a Concern"
  • Call 617-730-2156 during regular business hours: Monday-Thursday 8 am-5 pm, Fri 8 am-12:30 pm.

Report a power outage at the Eversource website or 800-592-2000.