Snow & Ice Control

City of Sterling Snow Plow vehicles parked in a garage

Declaration of Snow Emergency & Notification to Public

Public Works may declare a snow emergency whenever snow, freezing rain, sleet, snowdrifts etc. create or are likely to create hazardous road conditions. A snow emergency remains in effect until the snow has been removed from the full width of the street or until the Superintendent of Public Works declares the snow emergency is over.

Snow Emergency declarations are issued through local news media and social media platforms.  

Towing of Vehicles

During the time of a snow emergency, the Chief of Police or his designee may direct that vehicles parked in violation of Ordinances be towed and owners issued citations.

Parking Prohibited Under Certain Conditions

Snow Routes

During a Snow Emergency, there is no parking on any street designated as a snow route. The parking restrictions of this section terminate block by block as soon as the accumulated snow has been removed from the full width of the street. The Snow Routes, also identified with signage, are:snow route 1.jpeg

  1. Oak Grove Avenue from west LeFevre north to Lynn Boulevard
  2. Avenue L from 3rd Street north to LeFevre Road
  3. Avenue G from south end of the bridge north to LeFevre Road
  4. Avenue C from W 3rd Street  north to W 5th Street
  5. Avenue B from Wallace Street north to W 3rd Street
  6. Avenue B from W 5th Street north to Locust Street
  7. Locust Street from 2nd Street north to 29th Street (Wahl Road)
  8. 1st Avenue from the south end of the 1st Avenue Bridge north to LeFevre Road
  9. 6th Avenue from 3rd Street north to E 28th Street (Crane Road)
  10. 16th Avenue from 3rd Street north to E 28th Street (Crane Road)
  11. Freeport Road from E. Lincolnway to Lynn Boulevardsnow route 2.jpg
  12. 3rd Street from Avenue M east to Freeport Road
  13. W. 4th Street from West Avenue to Avenue C
  14. 4th Street from Locust Street east to Freeport Road
  15. 5th Street from 1st Avenue West to Avenue C
  16. 11th Street from Avenue L east to 6th Avenue
  17. LeFevre Road, all in City limits
  18. Miller Road from Locust Street east to 6th Avenue
  19. 23rd Street (St. Mary's Road) from Griswold Avenue east to Locust Street
  20. Lynn Boulevard, all in City limits
  21. Second Street from Locust Street East to Broadway Avenue
  22. River Road from Lincolnway east to City limits
  23. Polo Road, all in City limits
  24. Woodlawn Road from Lincolnway east to City limits
  25. Lincolnway from Freeport Road to easterly City limits

Central Business District

There is no parking allowed in the central business district between 1:30 and 5:30 a.m. to allow for snow removal.

Other Streets - Odd/Even Parking

During a snow emergency, vehicles must park on the odd-numbered side of the street on an odd-numbered day of the month, and park on the even-numbered side of the street on an even-numbered day of the month.

Odd-numbered and even-numbered sides of the street refers to the address numbers of the street. Even numbers are on the north and east sides of the streets, and odd numbers are on the south and west sides of the streets. Odd and even-numbered days shall be considered as beginning between the hours of 6 and 8 a.m. to allow people to move their vehicles

The snow emergency and the parking restrictions shall terminate block by block as soon as the accumulated snow has been removed from the full width of the street, and at such time regular parking regulations shall go back into effect immediately.

City Ordinance Designated

Streets designated under City Ordinances Section 78-225 (visit the Sterling Municipal Code online to learn more).

Emergency Snow Routes

The City prioritizes clearing and maintenance of the emergency snow routes to allow for faster movement of emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks.  The City moves into residential neighborhoods once the snow routes are cleared and the snowstorms have tapered off.

Private Plowing

It is illegal for private plow operators to push snow across the roadway. Further, no person shall pile or cause to be piled any snow on avenues, streets, boulevards, alleys, sidewalks or any other City-owned property, except at the direction of the Director of Public Works. Further, no person shall pile or cause to be piled any snow so as to obstruct the vision of a motorist on any public street, avenue, boulevard or alley within the City.

Mailbox Replacement Policy

Mailboxes damaged by City snowplows may be eligible for replacement by the City.  Please read the replacement policy, for questions regarding mailbox replacement contact the Sterling Public Works Department at 815-632-6657.


I parked on the correct side of the road and my car still was plowed in. Why? 
The odd/even parking is done to clear the entire width of the roads back to the curb.  In bigger snow years, each snowfall can begin to narrow the width of passable roadway incrementally.  The crews need each side cleared of cars so they can get all of the snow pushed back as far as possible.  The plows still run both directions to clear the road, so the snow from half the road will still get pushed toward the parked side of the road unfortunately.

I just cleared my driveway and the plow driver came and plowed me back in.  Why would the driver do that?
We assure you, it's not intentional, but the snow has to get to the sides of the road.  Even if the driver changes the blade angle, the snow still falls off the edges.  If the drivers slowed for the thousands of driveways in the City, the process of clearing the roads would take significantly longer.  It's a universal problem, anywhere you go in the snowy portions of the country.