About Howard County, Maryland
Located between Baltimore and Washington D.C. in the geographic center of Maryland, Howard County’s population is expected to exceed 332,000 by 2020. The County is home to Columbia, a planned community built by visionary developer James Rouse, which was recently named as the “Best Place to Live” in America in 2016 by Money magazine. The county has 1,025 miles of roads and an average snowfall of about 23 inches, with the majority falling in January and February.  During these winter ice and snow events, the county focuses on public safety by implementing an aggressive snow removal operation which focuses on primary roadways first, followed by secondary and community streets. For more information please see Service Information or visit our website
Service Information

Snow Removal Operations Plan

The Howard County snow plan covers 1,025 miles of roadway touching 4,515 individual roads. The County has 69 designated snow removal routes, with each comprised of an average of 15 centerline miles per route. At the beginning of the winter season, 22,100 tons of salt, 34,500 gallons of liquid magnesium and 14,700 gallons of brine is stockpiled for use by a fleet of more than 135 snow removal vehicles all equipped with automated vehicle-locating devices, allowing the Bureau of Highways and the public to see which Howard County roads have been serviced and how. When ice and/or snow endanger the safety of the traveling public, many factors are considered as County workers decide how to best manage the various winter driving conditions. Variables included in these decisions are the amount of snowfall, the duration and intensity of the storm, the meteorological parameters of temperature, humidity and wind force, and the availability of material, manpower, and equipment. Through careful analysis and by interfacing these factors, the men and women of the Bureau of Highways provide the maximum level of service possible to the citizens of Howard County.
Contact Information:
  • Phone:  410-313-2900  (During times when the Emergency Operations Center is activated, this resident information hotline may be converted into a call center) 
  • Email:  ask@howardcountymd.gov    
  • Twitter: @HoCoGov
  • Facebook:  www.facebook.com/hocogov/
The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is responsible for all the work and maintenance on interstate highways and on roads that have a route number (such as US 40, US 29, MD 32, MD 175, etc.). For an intersection that includes a state and county road, the state takes precedence and has jurisdiction. In Howard County, the SHA can be contacted at the Dayton office at 410-531-5533, or 1-800-635-5119, or online at www.roads.maryland.gov.
Roads
At the beginning of a storm, de-icing materials are spread first to prevent the bonding of snow or ice to the road surface. Then, depending on the intensity of the storm, plowing operations follow. The County's 4,515-road system is divided into a series of routes with a truck and operator assigned to each.

During a snow or ice storm, the County prioritizes treatment by the volume of traffic each road normally carries.

Primary roads are given top priority and will be plowed first. These roads are main arteries and/or snow emergency routes.  Secondary roads, which are typically roads that connect primary roads or are high volume residential roads, are treated and plowed next, followed by low volume local residential streets and cul-de-sacs.

There may be some exceptions to these rules, particularly if treating a particular route facilitates the dispatch of snow removal equipment, is needed to accommodate high-volume traffic, alleviates extraordinary topographical features, helps give access to emergency vehicles or is needed to give access to dense population groupings.

All County roads are serviced before the Bureau halts its efforts.

The County’s goal, for a typical 6-12” snowfall, is to have all County roadways cleared within 12 to 18 hours after the storm ends.


Helpful Tips

The Bureau of Highways reminds drivers not to park on streets, especially on a cul-de-sac as that makes snow removal nearly impossible for highway crews. Vehicles should be parked in driveways. This allows police officers, firefighters, and paramedics to respond quickly to public safety tasks while driving in treacherous conditions and leads to quick and complete clearing of the roads. Residents may also want to delay shoveling driveway aprons and sidewalks until the street has been completely cleared. Otherwise, it is very likely a full blade of snow will slide off the plow onto the driveway.

We appreciate your patience and cooperation in our efforts to provide the best possible snow removal service to our communities.


Emergencies

The Bureau of Highways provides access for emergency vehicles during life-threatening individual emergencies such as birth, illness, death, fuel deliveries, or fire upon the request of either the Police Department or the Department of Fire and Rescue Services. The Chief, Bureau of Highways, or the Highway Operations Superintendents evaluates and responds to each such request in the most effective manner. If you are experiencing an emergency situation during a snow event, call 911 immediately.


Clearing Sidewalks

Howard County does not maintain any sidewalks, including snow removal, with exception of the sidewalks adjacent to County buildings (libraries, offices, etc.). The owner of property abutting a sidewalk in a public right-of-way is responsible for removing snow from the sidewalk within 48 hours after the snow has fallen. In the event of a multi-unit building with more than one occupant, it shall be the duty of the lessor to remove the snow unless the lessor has obligated a tenant who is actually occupying the property to do so. See Howard County Code, Section 18.402(h)(1). This applies to public streets and is applicable to sidewalks adjacent to public property. However, per Section 18.402(h)(2), if the County Executive declares a state of emergency under Section 6.103 of the County Code, the County Executive may extend the time to remove snow.

If a property owner has not removed the snow within the allotted time frame, you may want to contact the property owner and advise him or her of the County Code. If you are unsure who owns a property, contact our Department of Public Works, Real Estate Services Division at 410-313-2330. If you have an exact address, they can look up the property owner and may be able to give you a contact name and number.

Another idea is to reach out and ask the property owner if he or she needs assistance.

Although the property owner might like to comply with the law, many residents are physically unable to shovel snow and ice and are hesitant to request help from neighbors or friends. Your thoughtfulness can make a big difference to someone who might otherwise be unable to cope.

As a last resort, to file a complaint, contact the Howard County Police Department at 410-313-2200.


Snow Removal Claims Policy

Howard County’s Department of Public Works makes every effort to plow and salt County roads quickly and safely during all winter weather emergencies. Because of the road conditions during inclement weather, some property damage is unavoidable. The following represents the County’s policy for handling claims for damage to property resulting from the County’s snow removal activities.

I. Property located within the County right of way.

 

A. Mailboxes

1. County law permits mailboxes to be placed in the County right of way.

 

2. If a mailbox that conforms to County law is damaged as a result of physical contact of a snowplow or other piece of snow removal equipment, the County will reimburse the homeowner for actual costs based upon the predetermined maximum value ($75) of a standard issue mailbox, mailbox post, or associated item. Homeowners who have an ornamental or decorative mailbox in the County right of way do so at their own risk: The County will not replace or pay for damage to a non-standard mailbox, e.g.; ornamental, that is located within the County right of way. Installation costs that the homeowner chooses to incur will not be reimbursed.

3. If a mailbox, mailbox post, or associated item is damaged as a result of the weight or impact of snow and ice being moved by a County snowplow, but there has been no physical contact with the mailbox, mailbox post, or associated item by a piece of County equipment, the County will not assume responsibility for the cost of repair or replacement of the mailbox, mailbox post, or associated item.

B. Other Structures

 

1.On occasion, structures other than mailboxes may be placed within the County right of way by permit obtained in conformity with the County Code.

 

2. Claims for damage to structures that are permitted to be located in the County right of way and that are built in conformity with the permit will be handled in the same way as claims for damage to mailboxes:

 

a.  Unless otherwise stated in a written agreement with the property owner, the County will pay the cost of repair or replacement if there has been physical contact with the structure.

 

b.  The County will not pay for damage caused by the movement of show or ice.

 

3. The County assumes no responsibility for damage caused by non-permitted structures located within the County right of way.

 

C. Landscaping

 

1. Many property owners plant and seed within the County right of way adjoining their property. In the ordinary course of removing snow from County roads, damage to this kind of landscaping will occur – from movement of snow and ice, from contact with the equipment, and from salting.

 

2. The County does not assume responsibility for damage to plantings that have been done in the County right of way.

 

3. The County’s Department of Public Works does maintain the right of way, the Department will repair damage to seeded areas in accordance with its procedures. The County will not, however, pay for any repair or replacement work in the right of way by the owner of private property adjoining or adjacent to the right of way.

 

II. Private Property

Snow removal activities do not usually cause damage to private property adjoining the roads that the County plows, that is, property outside the County’s right of way. Any claim that property located outside the County right of way was damaged as a result of the County’s snow removal operations will be investigated, and liability will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

III. Parked Vehicles

Snow removal involves the operation of very large vehicles during extreme weather conditions and time pressures. Although our operators make every attempt to avoid it, occasionally parked vehicles will be accidentally struck by snow removal equipment.

State law prohibits parking vehicles on any roadway that is designated and appropriately posted as a Snow Emergency Route when a snow emergency is declared and is in effect. The County will not pay for the repair of any parked vehicle which is struck by snow removal equipment on an emergency route when a snow emergency is in effect.

 

If you believe injury or damage to your property was caused by a County employee or involved a County-owned vehicle or property, please fill out and submit the Citizen Report Form for County-Related Incident to the Howard County Office of Risk Management, 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Box 303, Columbia, MD 21046. Property owners are asked to please make sure to take pictures of the damage, if possible, before the snow melts, and include them with your report form, so that the Office of Risk Management can make an accurate assessment.

Terms of Use

Please read these Terms of Use carefully before using this website or the services provided through this website (collectively, the "Site"). This Site is provided to you by Webtech Wireless Inc. ("Webtech" or "we"). Your access to and use of this Site is subject to these Terms of Use and all applicable laws. By accessing and using this Site you ("you") agree to be bound by these Terms of Use. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, do not access or use this Site.

Webtech may at its sole discretion modify these Terms of Use at any time and such modifications will be effective immediately upon being posted on the Site. Please check these Terms of Use periodically for any modifications. If you do not agree to any modifications of these Terms of Use, you must immediately stop using the Site. Your continued use of the Site following posting of the modifications will indicate your acceptance of these modified Terms of Use.

1. License. Subject to your compliance with these Terms of Use, Webtech grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferrable, revocable license to access and use the Site and the Site Data (defined below) for personal, individual, non-commercial, non-automated use only. You may not access or use the Site or the Site Data except for these express purposes and as expressly allowed by these Terms of Use. The data, text, maps, images, video, names, logos, trade-marks, software and other information displayed on or made available through the Site (the "Site Data") is the property of Webtech, its affiliates or licensors and is protected by copyright, trade-mark and other intellectual property laws. All rights are reserved.

2. Your Obligations. You agree that you will not (a) sublicense, resell or commercially exploit the Site in any way; (b) "frame" or "mirror" the Site; (c) access the Site in order to design a competitive website or service; (d) launch an automated program or script, including without limitation to retrieve Site Data or other content from the Site; (e) interfere with or disrupt the integrity or performance of the Site; or (f) use the Site or the Site Data in violation of applicable law.

3. Third Party Interactions. The Site may include links to websites that are owned and controlled by third parties. These links take you off the Site and are beyond Webtech’s control. The websites you can link to may have their own separate terms and conditions as well as a privacy policy. Webtech is not responsible and cannot be held liable for the availability, content, accuracy or activities of these websites. You therefore visit or access these websites entirely at your own risk.

Some portions of the Site may implement Google Maps/Earth mapping services, including Google Maps API(s). Your use of Google Maps/Earth is subject to Google’s terms of use, located at http://www.google.com/intl/en_us/help/terms_maps.html.

4. Disclaimer of Warranties. THIS SITE AND THE SITE DATA ARE PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS. WEBTECH MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES, GUARANTEES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS, LEGAL OR IMPLIED, ARISING FROM STATUTE, COURSE OF DEALING, USAGE OF TRADE OR OTHERWISE, WITH RESPECT TO THIS SITE OR THE SITE DATA, AND DISCLAIMS ALL SUCH REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES, GUARANTEES AND CONDITIONS, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES, GUARANTEES AND CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABLE QUALITY, QUALITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NON-INFRINGEMENT OF THIRD PARTY RIGHTS, ERROR-FREE OR UNINTERRUPTED SERVICE, ACCURACY, AVAILABILITY, RELIABILITY, SECURITY, CURRENCY AND COMPLETENESS ARISING FROM OR RELATING TO THE SITE OR THE SITE DATA. ALL REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES, GUARANTEES AND CONDITIONS ARE HEREBY DISCLAIMED TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAWS.

5. Limitation of Liability and Indemnification. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU WILL BE FULLY LIABLE FOR ALL DAMAGES RESULTING DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY FROM YOUR USE OF THIS SITE OR THE SITE DATA. IN NO EVENT SHALL WEBTECH, ITS AFFILIATES, LICENSORS OR ANY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS OR OTHER REPRESENTATIVES (COLLECTIVELY, THE "WEBTECH PARTIES") BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND (WHETHER DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE, AGGRAVATED OR OTHERWISE), ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SITE OR THE SITE DATA OR YOUR USE THEREOF, WHETHER OR NOT ARISING FROM BREACH OF CONTRACT, TORT, CIVIL LIABILITY OR OTHERWISE AND EVEN IF THE WEBTECH PARTIES HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. THIS EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY SHALL APPLY TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, YOU HEREBY RELEASE THE WEBTECH PARTIES FROM ANY AND ALL LIABILITY OF ANY NATURE RESULTING FROM THE LACK OF ACCURACY OR CORRECTNESS OF THE SITE DATA.

To the extent permitted by law, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Webtech Parties from and against all claims, liability, damages and expenses, arising from or relating to (a) your breach of these Terms of Use; and (b) your use of this Site or the Site Data.

6. Termination. Webtech may at any time and at its sole discretion restrict or terminate your right to use the Site. Sections 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 will survive any termination of these Terms of Use.

7. General. These Terms of Use are subject to the laws of the State of Maryland, USA, without giving effect to conflicts of laws principles. Any dispute, claim or controversy arising out of or relating to these Terms of Use or the breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity thereof or the use of the Site or the Site Data will be settled exclusively by a competent court in the State of Maryland, USA.  If any provision of these Terms of Use or part thereof is or becomes illegal, invalid or unenforceable in any jurisdiction, the illegality, invalidity or unenforceability of that provision will not affect the legality, validity or enforceability of the remainder of the provision or the remaining provisions of these Terms of Use, as the case may be, or the legality, validity or enforceability of that provision or part thereof in any other jurisdiction.

Coming Soon!

HowardCountySnowPlowTracker.org

snow tracker HC logo2636155081542848848