Frequently Asked Questions

Street Sweeping

Why are the roads swept?

Sweeping helps remove road dirt and contaminants before they reach local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.

Will a sweeper be sweeping my street?

All curbs on the County road network are swept four times each year. Roads without curbs are not usually swept because the sweeper is less effective on roads without curbs.

Will I receive notification of when the sweepers are coming to my street?

Howard County is divided into 29 sweeping areas with each area requiring, on average, a day to sweep. Currently, Homeowners Associations on the Bureau's address list are notified daily, by e mail, of major scheduled work in the County. Check with your HOA or call the Bureau of Highways at 410-313-7450 for updates. Residents' personal email addresses can be added to the distribution list, at the resident's request.

Why did the sweeper fail to sweep random areas on my street?

Sweepers may have found it necessary to maneuver around vehicles parked on the street. In that instance, residents can call the Bureau of Highways at 410-313-7450 and a supervisor will investigate any missed areas.

Why didn’t the sweeper pick up the leaves on my street?

Street sweepers are not designed to pick up leaves. Large quantities of leaves will clog sweeper filters, spreading the leaves over a large area. Sweeper operators will avoid areas of curb containing an excessive number of leaves.

Snow Plowing

When will my street be plowed?

The Roadway Maintenance Division of the Bureau of Highways is responsible for snow removal and operates out of three separate shops- Cooksville West Zone, Dayton Central Zone, Mayfield East Zone. Plowing is done on the basis of priority depending on the type of snow event. During a typical snowstorm, it takes approximately 24 to 36 hours to complete service to the entire County Road System. Please see the Snow Removal section for more information. If there is a genuine emergency during a snow event, please contact the Police Department for immediate assistance.

What do I do if a plow damages my property?

Contact the Bureau of Highways at 410-313-7450 or highways@howardcountymd.gov and the Highways staff can assess the damage and work with you to determine a solution. In many cases, after assessment by the Bureau of Highways, the concern will be forwarded to the Risk Management Department for a final resolution. Residents can also fill out and send in a Claim Form.

Traffic Calming

How can I get stop signs installed to control the speed on my street?

The Institute of Transportation Engineers- Traffic Engineering Council presents tips on stop signs. Contact the Bureau of Highways- Traffic Engineering Division for more information at 410-313-2430, or email at traffic@howardcountymd.gov. The Traffic Division can assess the need for traffic calming and