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Snow Storm Preparedness

Snow may be fun, but without proper planning it can be more than an inconvenience - it can be dangerous! The information shared on this page will help you prepare for winter weather and understand your responsibilities during a snow event.

Before snow is in the forecast is the time to prepare!

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What is a snow emergency?
A snow emergency may be declared by the Mayor if significant snow fall or dangerous weather conditions are forecast. A snow emergency declaration means that both residents and city service providers need to prepare for inclement and possibly dangerous weather conditions. Information will be available from City Hall to local media and official social media accounts.

Designated Snow Emergency Routes
Once a snow emergency is declared, removing snow within the travel lanes on snow emergency routes is the priority. Routes are designated to provide primary feeders for traffic moving through the City. Also, they link schools, hospitals, bus routes and fire stations.

The streets listed below have been designated with priority status and the snow removal efforts will concentrate on these streets.

North & South 5th Street
Lancaster Avenue
Walnut Street
Washington Street (including 2nd Street from Washington to Penn Streets)
Penn Street
Franklin Street
North 13th Street
Perkiomen Avenue
Schuylkill Avenue
Spring Street
Front Street (Penn St. to Cathedral)
Eleventh Street (Franklin to Walnut Streets)
Kenhorst Boulevard
Museum Road

Once snow is removed from all snow emergency routes, the snow removal will concentrate on local streets.

Resident vehicles may be removed to any Reading Parking Authority lot or garage where they may be parked without charge. These facilities are located at:

  • Front & Washington Streets
  • Poplar & Walnut Streets
  • Front & Penn Streets
  • 4th & Cherry Streets
  • 600 Block Franklin Street
  • 3rd & Washington Street
  • 700 block Washington Street
  • 8th & Penn Streets

Any vehicle not removed from the Snow Emergency Routes will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.


How to be a good neighbor during a snow event

  1. Have a shovel, ice melting materials, brooms, and snow brush available before it snows
  2. When a significant snow event is in the forecast, make sure that a few days’ supplies are on hand, and keep phones charged.
  3. Check in with neighbors- the elderly, persons with limited mobility, and pregnant women and new moms- are unable to assist with snow removal. Make sure that they have any medications and supplies for several days.
  4. Shovel sidewalks and clean vehicles through the storm, take extra care around fire hydrants- make sure hydrants are clear on all sides! (
  5. Do not block parking spaces with furniture. There are no assigned parking spaces. Instead, work with your neighbors to clear spaces. Many hands make for lighter work!
  6. Follow product directions for applying salt and other ice melting products. Applying extra product doesn’t melt snow or ice faster. Using more than recommended amounts pollutes the river, leads to sidewalk & building damage, can harm pets, and is a waste of money.
  7. DO NOT double park during plowing operations. The plows do not have enough room to pass. This will result in streets getting passed by, and slow snow removal operations.
  8. DO NOT pass snow plows! The safest travel path is behind the plow- make sure that you can see the plow’s mirrors by staying back 50 feet. Give the plows plenty of room to work and to back up if needed.
  9. Avoid placing side walk snow into the street, especially after the street has been plowed.
  10. Thank your neighbors for their help & repay kindnesses. If a neighbor has a snow blower, help pay for the fuel.