Beyond the Diag - Off Campus Housing

Three people walking from the diag toward State Street shops in the snow.

You wake up one fine winter morning, only to look outside the window and see the pavement in front of your house buried under a few feet of snow. Beautiful, right? Except you realize you have to leave for classes later that day. What should you do? Snow removal can be exhaustive and unpleasant, but with adequate information and preparation, it’s actually not as bad as you may think! Follow these steps to ensure that you are following the city’s snow removal regulations. General Snow Salting and Plowing Guide: 

Start with the fresh, loose snow, it’s easier to shovel and has not been compressed from being walked on. 

Be careful where you put the shoveled snow, don’t block neighbor’s paths or drains. 

Make a path in the middle of the area you have to shovel first- this will give you a surface to walk on. 

Do not use hot water! Although this may melt the snow, it can replace it with black ice! 

Spread salt on the areas you have cleared to prevent ice forming. Aside from your own shoveling techniques, you should be aware of some Ann Arbor city procedures and regulations. The City of Ann Arbor states: 

All snow and ice which has accumulated on the adjacent public sidewalk before 6am must be removed by noon from non-residentially zoned properties. 

Within 24 hours after the end of each accumulation of snow greater than 1 inch, the owner of every residentially zoned property must remove the accumulation from the adjacent public sidewalk and ramps leading to a crosswalk. 

The city provides residents with up to one 5-gallon bucket’s worth of a sand and salt mixture. Visit the maintenance yard at 721 N. Main St. to pick up your bucket. 

Make sure to check with your landlord about your snow shoveling responsibilities. The Ann Arbor city also has a snow plow tracking map, where you can track what streets are being cleared up, accessible at

For more information about the city snow removal guidelines, snow parking guidelines, snow removals, or citizen responsibilities, check out


Contributed by Emily Ho