Snow and Ice Removal Policy

Snow Removal Policy:

  • General

    - One of the most important duties of the Lincoln Public Works Department is control of snow and ice. The Department is responsible for snow and ice control on 51 miles of roadways and 15 miles of paved pathways. We also clear snow from the Town’s Transfer Station, Public Schools, Town Buildings, Public Housing and Cemeteries.
All winter storms are different and can be difficult to predict. The Department consults and reviews weather reports from several different sources. When a winter storm is forecast, the Department begins to develop an action plan for that storm event. Being a small department, we battle the storms with a combination of regular Public Works employees, hired drivers, and hired equipment. The Town is divided into 9 separate plow routes. Coordination of all snow and ice clearing activities is performed from the Public Works office at 30 Lewis Street. It can be a formidable and complex task to plan for a storm event, call crews in, organize the crews, and implement the appropriate strategy to adequately handle the storms.

During a major storm event the Department can have up to 25 pieces of equipment in operation. Our first priority is the main routes in Town.  Routes 126, 117, Lincoln Road, Bedford Road, and Trapelo Road are all main routes that get primary attention. Secondary roads such as Weston Road and Sandy Pond Road are next on the priority list, but are typically done at the same time as the primary routes. Residential side streets are third on the priority list. The side streets are included within the 9 plow routes, but sometimes require less maintenance than the main and secondary roads. The paved pathway on Lincoln Road from Lincoln Mall to the Center will be plowed as soon as possible, usually at the end of the storm, to facilitate students walking to school. The other pathways in Town will be cleared as soon as possible the days following the storm.

Snow plowing typically begins when the snow accumulation approaches 2 inches. Pre-treating the roadway may occur before that, possibly even before the first snow flake hits the ground. Plowing activities will continue as needed through the storm. Once the snowfall has ended, post storm related activities begin. This may mean that a final treatment of sand/salt is applied. Related storm clean-up will be undertaken in the days following the storm. The hours required to adequately handle a storm can be extraordinarily long and intense, with operations conducted during the most severe weather and driving conditions.
  • Driveways

    – Individual property owners are responsible for removing snow from in front of their driveways. The Department tries to minimize the amount of snow that gets plowed into driveways. Due to the nature of street plowing, snow does get plowed into driveways as the trucks pass. You may wish to clear your driveway several times during a storm or wait until the storm and plowing activities have ended to clear your driveway. Shoveling or plowing snow back into the street is prohibited.
  • Mailboxes

    – Individual property owners are responsible for removing the snow from in front of their mailboxes. Residents are encouraged to ensure that mailboxes are placed at the proper distance and height in relation to the roadway. The Post Office or DPW can be contacted for the specific requirements. Mailboxes should be installed, periodically inspected, and maintained by the homeowner in accordance with United States Postal Service requirements.
On occasion, some mailboxes may be damaged due to plowing operations. The primary cause of mailbox damage is from snow thrown from a plow blade. In general, the department will not replace or re-install a mailbox that has been damaged due to thrown snow. If the mailbox is damaged directly from a plow hit or other DPW activities, the department will work with the resident to replace the mailbox. Typically, the DPW will replace a damaged mailboxes with a standard metal mailbox and/or a metal or wood post.

The homeowner may choose to furnish and install their own mailbox and post and the DPW will reimburse the
purchase, up to $100.00 toward the replacement.

The deadline for any mailbox claims is April 15th.
  • Sand

    – Residents can pickup sand, free of charge at the Public Works Building located at 30 Lewis Street. We ask that you limit your pickup to one (1) 5 gallon bucket per week. Sand is available to Lincoln residents only. No commercial use is allowed.
  • Salt

    – Salt or other melting agents are not available. Residents can pickup rock salt and/or other melting agents at the local hardware store.
  • New Technologies

    – The Public Works Department is consistently looking for new and innovative methods and equipment to improve our snow and ice operations. The Department is committed to ensuring that the roads are treated in the most environmentally sensitive methods possible. Snow and ice control, not unlike most business, is subject to continued technological improvement.
Finally, please have patience. Snow plowing is a time consuming and laborious job covering approximately 102 lane miles of road. Some residents will have their road plowed first and some will be last, but all town roads will be cleared. The Highway Department is devoted to providing the residents with dependable snow removal in the shortest time possible