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Let It Snow: Brochure Explains Village's Plow and Salt Procedures

A handy guide to THE Village of Oak Lawn's snow and ice removal procedures.

Oak Lawn snow plow
Oak Lawn snow plow

After Mother Nature clobbered us with the season’s first accumulating snowfall of the season last Sunday, we received 98 Facebook reviews of the village’s snow removal efforts:

“Haven't seen a salt truck!!!! Bridgeview was salted very nice had to go to menards on way back down 91st street seem 3 crashes on 91st street.”

“I drove slow, pumped the breaks, and still had trouble stopping. 52nd and 91st was solid ice.”

“Just came to Christ Hospital. 95th St. seems untouched.”

“Lets not play the blame game. How about we slow down and learn to adapt to conditions. Everyone is so ready to point the finger.”

Much to our delight, the village provided Patch with a little known “Snow Command” brochure produced by Oak Lawn Public Works.

The brochure explains how public works attacks various snow events, which include anti-icing measures, de-icing measures, plowing or a combination of all the above.

READ THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR DEC. 11, 2013

What made Sunday’s snow event unique was that snow and/or ice continued falling for 12-plus hours, according to public works.

The village’s first priority is plow and/or salt the state highway routes (U.S. 12-20/95th St.,  U.S. 50/Cicero Ave.).

Following the state highways, in order of priority, are:

  • Major snow routes

  • Minor snow routes

  • all other village streets

Also, the area of 103rd Street between Cicero Avenue and Pulaski Road falls is plowed by the Cook County Highways Dept.

The village has designated snow routes, on which cars are prohibited from parking after one-inch of snowfall.

In addition, there is an odd-even ordinance in place for side streets. If a snow emergency is enacted, cars may not park on the even-numbered side of the street on even-numbered calendar days, and visa versa.

Public works has divided Oak Lawn’s 8.7 square miles of streets into 13 sections or quadrants, by which it organizes plowing, de-icing and anti-icing.

Residents are responsible for clearing their own sidewalks and driveways, but don’t toss snow into the roadway, which is illegal and unsafe.

To find out if a snow emergency has been declared or if odd/even restrictions have been put in place, check the village website or Ch. 4, unless you live in Dist. 2, in which there is a good chance that your power has gone out.

We’ve posted the “Snow Command” brochure with this story. Up until this week, we didn’t even know that it existed.

The village’s senior snow shoveling program is always looking for more volunteers. If you’re a college student home for the holidays, or your youngster needs confirmation service hours, give Sgt. Jim Pacetti, of the Oak Lawn Police Department, a call at 708-499-7880 or shoot him an email, jpacetti@oaklawn-il.gov.



Sue B December 11, 2013 at 09:00 AM
This will be an interesting winter. Cannot park in our driveway because we block the sidewalk. Cannot park on the street because of the snowfall. Cannot park on Ridgeland. Where to park? The Jewel maybe? I blame the village. When we built the garage, they should have told us we were too close to the street. Lets see how many tickets I get this winter. Remember the village needs the money.
J December 11, 2013 at 11:06 AM
"To find out if a snow emergency has been declared or if odd/even restrictions have been put in place, check the village website or Ch. 4, unless you live in Dist. 2, in which there is a good chance that your power has gone out." Good one!
Pat F December 11, 2013 at 12:33 PM
I've always wondered why it is Illegal for me to throw the snow the village pushed onto the end of my driveway back into the street?? I shovel Your sidewalk and all of my driveway into my yard. The last 2-3 feet where you have made it 2-3 times higher than the rest of my driveway I share back with thestreet..I live on 91st street so I realize there's a lot more road to clear but you also use a lot more salt here..Therefore I feel within my rights to throw a portion back on the road where it melts due to the excess of salt, which by the way has ruined the bottom 3 feet of my concrete driveway! And I know, I shouldn't have moved onto 91st, but that was in my budget at the time.....
Theresa Stumpf December 11, 2013 at 12:34 PM
@Sue B. Im sorry but what is stopping you from parking IN your garage?! And why do you need the village to tell you that your driveway is too short?!
Glen Kato December 11, 2013 at 12:51 PM
None of neighbors bother to even try to park in their driveways.
Mike December 11, 2013 at 01:06 PM
Yeah, I concur with Glen on this - people on our block (all with driveways) all park on the street (and to add, not even in front of their house!).
Pepper Potts December 11, 2013 at 01:41 PM
An organized snow removal in Oak Lawn? Not possible. The schools are always ignored. There is no sense of organization when it comes to snow removal and salting in Oak Lawn. Been like this for years.
Wonder Woman December 11, 2013 at 03:09 PM
So what exactly does "the area of 103rd Street between Cicero Avenue and Pulaski Road" refer to - just 103rd Street, or the adjoining side streets as well?
Bob Zuro December 12, 2013 at 10:17 AM
Just a convenient excuse for when people call and complain. When I moved in to the village from the city in 1990 I was amazed how quickly the streets were salted and plowed but over the years it's getting worse and worse. I make a point to see how the streets are in Burbank and Hickory Hills and always they are plowed curb to curb and salted. Why not Oak Lawn????
Donna Piszczyk December 12, 2013 at 01:39 PM
yes Pat F......don't forget the neighbors who live on each side and refuse to move their vehicle on these snow days.....not giving the plow and opportunity to remove my snow but only theirs.

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