Winter Weather Response

Welcome to SDOT’s Winter Weather Response website where you’ll find resources to help you prepare for winter storms and learn how SDOT responds to keep Seattle moving safely.


Prepare for Winter Weather

  • Help your neighbors.
  • Stay warm. Prepare for cold weather.
  • Get snow removal supplies.
  • Prepare your first aid & emergency supplies.
  • Learn the plowed routes.
  • Be aware of the forecast.

When there’s snow/ice, do your part to keep Seattle moving safely!

  • Keep Sidewalks Clear: It’s the law and right thing to do to help everyone travel safely, especially those who have low vision or a harder time getting around.
  • Don’t Drive: Don’t drive if you don’t have to. If you must drive, make sure your vehicle is ready. 
    • Have winter supplies in your vehicle.
    • Have tire chains or traction devices.
    • Know the road conditions before you go.
    • Clear your entire vehicle of snow.
    • Drive slow and allow plenty of time and space between vehicles and people.  
  • Take Transit: Instead of driving, take transit. SDOT works closely with Metro Transit to ensure bus routes are passable. Check the transit snow routes.
  • Bike Safely: Dress for the weather and safety with reflective clothes, lights, and helmet. Be extra cautious as road conditions can change at an instant and you and drivers may need extra time to stop.
  • Obey Street Closures and Detours: Obey signs for street closure and detours. These signs were placed by police for your safety.  
  • SDOT is Ready! SDOT is ready for Seattle’s winter weather. We work around the clock to clear 1,200 lane miles of critical streets for buses and emergency services.

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Keep Sidewalks Clear 

Keep sidewalks in front of your home or business clear during a snowstorm. It’s the law  and the right thing to do so that everyone can travel safely, especially people who have a harder time getting around.

Seattle has over 2,400 miles of sidewalks, and our crews can’t be everywhere at once. We rely on you to do your part, so we can focus on clearing sidewalks that aren’t near privately owned buildings and keeping the city’s most critical streets clear.  


Stock up before the storm. Have a snow shovel, bag of street salt, warm clothes, extra blankets, flashlights, first aid kit, and supply of food/water/medicine for at least three days.


Before it Freezes

Sprinkle rock salt (or another environmentally friendly product) on your sidewalk, walkways, and curb ramps to prevent ice from forming.


We teamed up with Rooted in Rights to create a video to educate people on the importance of clearing snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to their homes, businesses, and job sites. This information makes it easier and safer for everyone to get around after a winter storm!


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.