Neighborhoods! Mobilize Together for Sidewalk Snow Removal

Posted 1:06 p.m.

With more than two feet of snow in some places, this blizzard has challenged our shoveling resolve! Snow removal will take days of work. Snow clearing is underway at 196 schools and centers. You can help by clearing neighborhood sidewalks.

Work as a community to plan. Reach out to your neighbors and talk about who is able to pitch in.


Do Not Park on Snow Emergency Routes

While the state (VDOT) and homeowner associations primarily plow roads, the state and the county do not clear snow and ice from public walkways (sidewalks and trails). While not legally obligated, residents and businesses are asked to help keep sidewalks safe.

Here are some things to consider when working out your snow removal plans:

  1. What areas are priority for clearing to keep your neighborhood and residents safe? If you live in an apartment complex, how can you help?
  2. Who will shovel out fire hydrants so our Fire and Rescue Department has easy access?
  3. Can you volunteer to use/share equipment such as small snow blowers for a community removal effort.
  4. Shovel snow into the yard instead of into the street to minimize the problem of a plow covering your driveway with snow after you’ve just shoveled it (though with these predicted snow amounts, expect the end of your driveway to be covered a couple of times over).
  5. Do some neighbors need assistance in clearing their walkways (due to age, health conditions, disability, etc.)?
  6. Consider your health condition. If there is any reason that shoveling snow might be dangerous for you, such as a heart condition, consult your doctor before shoveling?
  7. If neighbors are on vacation (lucky them!), can someone chip in and clear their snow?
  8. Keep the openings of storm drains clear of snow and debris to help alleviate potential flooding.
  9. Make sure that all parking spots identified as accessible parking spaces for people with disabilities are cleared of snow.
  10. Who will make the snow angels? 🙂

snow removal


Stay Informed

We have many ways you can choose to stay informed during this blizzard:

Tags: ,

About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.

24 responses to “Neighborhoods! Mobilize Together for Sidewalk Snow Removal”

  1. Judd Schulke says :

    During snowmaggedon my contract cleared the sidewalks. So pedestrians & FFX County School students could use the sidewalk. 12 hours later VDOT filled in the cleared sidewalk as they cleared street to the curb. The VDOT dumps could not be removed by my contractors equipment. I applaud clearing the sidewalks but why bother if VDOT fills them back in?

  2. Anonymous says :

    Can you post an update on solid waste pickup? Don’t want to leave my trash can out overnight. We’re in Poplar Heights and recycling was picked up this morning.

    • Fairfax County Emergency Information says :

      At this time we don’t have an update on solid waste pickup. You can check the trash/recycling county customer website for updated service information.

      The snow may also affect the operations of private trash and recycling collectors. If you use a private service provider contact them directly for any changes in service. Contact information for private trash and recycling collectors operating in Fairfax County is available at

    • john says :

      I thought the County owned the sidewalks and the grassy area between the sidewalk and the street. That being the case, why doesn’t the County clear the sidewalks?

      • Fairfax County Emergency Information says :

        Hi John: We own sidewalks around our public buildings, but otherwise, this is the general breakdown:

        — Homeowners, associations and businesses are responsible for private streets and sidewalks.
        — The Virginia Department of Transportation is responsible for plowing public roads, but NOT for sidewalks.
        — If you live in an apartment or condo, check with your management company for responsibilities and expectations.

        State and local governments simply don’t have the resources to clear sidewalks across the whole county.

        That’s why we need the whole community to pitch in and help clear sidewalks, especially so children can get back to school. We know that has taken time. Melting is helping a little bit, so that’s on our side.

  3. Jhett epp says :

    Hello. We live in a cul de sac on a pipe stem. While we appreciate the prompt response of snow plowing in our neighborhood and understand that this is a blizzard of historic proportion, we are disturbed that most of the snow has been dumped on our driveway which is a common driveway shared by 3 homes , the middle home is occupied by senior citizens. My husband and my son have shoveled the common driveway to help our neighbors, however, the 5ft mound of snow piled by the plowers will be a bit much for them to handle. They have asked the plowers to move it to another open area where driveways and cars will not be affected, but they have ignored it. I’m afraid this snow mound will keep getting taller as I can imagine the snow plowers will continue to pile snow on top of this. Can someone help? Thank you.

  4. Greg Hudgins says :

    What is the protocol or acceptable behavior pertaining to on street parking in front of ones home in large snow falls like this. It may take hours to dig out and after leaving another car takes the place leaving no space to park while the snow melts in days. We in Old Town have seen cones, chairs, etc left in the space marking as your space until normalcy is brought back.
    May I have an opinion and is this up to each neighborhood?
    Thanks !

  5. Sarah says :

    When I was out walking today I noticed that many neighbors are doing a good job with sidewalks; however. Corners at intersections are piled head height from roads being plowed. This makes it impossible to clear side walks to corners where cross walks are. It also severely limits visibility for cars. Is it possible to get some front loaded in to clear crosswalks and corners closest to schools? For example acr

  6. Leslie Byrne says :

    With this amount of snow, we need front-loaders and dump trucks to haul snow out. Especially in cul-de-sacs or we’ll never get the trash trucks in service.

  7. Christina says :

    Does fairfax county have volunteers for cleaning sidewalks ? My grandma is an elderly and cannot clean hers.

  8. Jerry says :

    We are in our 80s and can not clear the snow off of our driveway or walkway. Usually people come by and we pay them to do it. No one has this time and we remain snowed in. Who c an we call for assistance?

  9. Enid Cohen says :

    My husband and I live in Springfield Station Apartments and outside our gate the sidewalk have not been plowed or shoveled leading to the train station and you have to walk on the street. I spoke to our renting office and they said that it is the Fairfax city responsibility to take care of it. So my question to you is when will you take care of it as it is dangerous to be walking in the street day or night but especially at night and this is the only way that my husband can get to the train to get to work. This is a disgrace. I would appreciate it if you can tell to this urgent matter ASAP. No excuses please.

    • fairfaxcounty says :

      Hi Enid. We’re sorry you were given incorrect information. The county doesn’t shovel sidewalks. We are asking neighborhoods to mobilize and work together to clear sidewalks so that people can move safely around the community. Volunteer Fairfax is helping to coordinate volunteers to shovel snow. You can find more information here:

  10. Anonymous says :

    I live off Fairfax County Parkway and West Ox Road. I’ve been awake since 3:15 AM when the front loader was plowing our residential street which is great. However, the sidewalk my husband spent hours shoveling the 2 feet of snow off is now completely covered with hardpacked, plowed snow. Really??? My attitude is that we will not reshovel it., We’re in our 60’s and doing it once was a chore, twice is impossible.

  11. Caitlin says :

    Spent all day yesterday clearing a sewer drain from under a snowplow mound. Even marked it with an orange reflective cone. This morning, another mound covering the sewer and the cone thrown into my yard.

    I’m done. Go plow a street that really needs it. We’ve had pavement for two days!

  12. Anonymous says :

    Is there a polite way to ask neighbors to shovel their sidewalks? We live on a busy street and many of the neighbors don’t shovel their sidewalk. This requires children to walk in a 35 mph road to get to school & bus stops. The snow will still be here next week. This happens every snow storm.

  13. Crystal Wallace says :

    I live in Kings Park (Springfield). We moved our cars off the street prior to the winter storm to allow the county to plow safely and effectively. My family dutifully cleared the sidewalks in front of our house and the drive to the street within 24 hours of the snow ending, so pedestrians could walk and we could safely enter and exit onto our street. Yesterday, I came home to find more than 18 inches of icy snow in front of our driveway AND the snow from the parking lane had been dumped onto our sidewalks. How can the county/VDOT expect us to to do our part by not putting snow back into the street, while they dump snow back onto our cleared drives and sidewalks?