Snow removal

No Parking on Village Streets

Accumulating snow requires plowing and salting operations to maintain safe roadways. The trucks used for these operations are large and have difficulty maneuvering on residential streets with parked cars. Parking is not permitted on Village streets for eight hours following a snowfall of two inches or more. Parked cars impede operations which result in slower response times and can create hazardous conditions.

Deposit Snow to the Right of Driveway, Not the Street

In order to minimize the amount of snow pushed back onto driveway aprons from plows, residents are asked to deposit shoveled snow onto the parkway to the right of the driveway (when facing the street). Snow deposited onto an already plowed street may freeze and create hazardous conditions, leading to unnecessary additional work and overtime for the crew.

Important Snow Codes

When snow fall occurs, the Village would like to remind you:

  • Village code requires residents and business owners to remove snow and ice from sidewalks in front of and adjacent to their property within 24 hours after an event.
  • Snow or ice frozen on sidewalks that cannot be removed without injury to the pavement should be treated with an abrasive material until weather permits further clean-up.
  • Snow removal contractors are prohibited from using snow blowers between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
  • The placement of snow or ice on any Village owned street, alley or sidewalk is prohibited.

Help the River Forest Fire Department - Keep Hydrants Clear of Snow! 

The River Forest Fire Department works hard to keep hydrants clear of snow, but can use the help of residents. Snow covered hydrants can be very difficult to find and access in an emergency.

Nicor Gas Safety Tips

  • Check that outdoor vent openings and air intakes are not obstructed by snow and ice to ensure the safe, proper operation of natural gas appliances, such as a furnace or water heater, and to prevent the potentially hazardous buildup of carbon monoxide within your home or business.
  • Exercise caution removing snow or ice from your natural gas meter assembly. Use your hands or a broom, not a shovel, to brush away snow or ice from your meter and regulator. Never kick or hit your gas meter or its piping with a hammer or other hard object to break away built-up snow or ice.

Winter Driving Tips from the River Forest Police Department

  • Slow down. Even if you have all-wheel drive, slippery conditions will reduce your ability to stop, and the faster you are traveling the longer it will take you to stop.

  • Beware of black ice. Black ice is dangerous because it can be hard to see, but you can anticipate it on bridges, in the shadows of tall buildings, and near intersections. In bad weather, give yourself even more time and distance to stop for intersections.

  • Avoid tailgating. Leave as much room as you can between yourself and the car in front of you to stop in case that person brakes suddenly.

  • Don’t brake during a turn. Slow down ahead of time and take your foot off the brake in order to coast through the turn.

  • Turn into a skid. Remain calm, take your foot off the brake and the gas pedals, and turn the car in the direction the car is skidding. For example, if sliding to the left, gently turn the steering wheel to the left. This cancels out the skid. The car corrects itself and goes straight.

  • Accident reporting.  If you are involved in an accident on a public way, you may call 911 to report the accident.  If there are no injuries and all cars involved are drivable, you may be instructed to drive to the nearest police station in the jurisdiction to complete the report.  Remember that if weather conditions contributed to your accident, there is a chance that those same conditions may contribute to additional accidents nearby.  If safe to do so, you may move your car out of a dangerous location.  If you are unable to move your vehicle, remain inside with your seatbelt on.

  • Just don’t drive.  The best way to be safe during inclement weather is to simply avoid driving if possible.  Be aware of weather advisories and alerts and plan ahead in order to ensure you are not on the road.

Shovel Safety Tips

  • Employ the services of a snow shoveling company or neighborhood teen.
  • Do not shovel after a heavy meal or while smoking.
  • Take it slow and like any exercise, stretch and warm up for 5-10 minutes before you begin.
  • Shovel only fresh, powdery snow; it's lighter.
  • Push the snow rather than lifting it.
  • If you have to lift it, use a small shovel or only partially fill the shovel and bend at the knees.
  • Keep the shovel close to your body making it easier to push or lift.
  • Keep your feet apart and have a strong stance. Lift with your legs, not your back.
  • Do not work to the point of exhaustion. Take frequent breaks and don’t overdo it. Stay Hydrated!!
  • If a large snow is expected, start shoveling early and keep up with the snow. It’s easier and less of
    a strain to shovel 1-2 inches rather than 7-8 inches or more after the snow stops falling.
  • Avoid twisting and turning while moving the snow.
  • Most of all… If you develop chest pains or shortness of breath, Don’t Wait… STOP shoveling and call 911. Don't pick up that shovel without a doctor's permission if you have a history of heart disease. If you feel tightness in the chest or dizziness, stop immediately. A clear driveway is not worth your life.

Snow Blower Safety Tips

  • Read the owner’s manual and review the safety precautions of the snow blower before stating.
    If the blower jams, turn it off.
  • Keep your hands away from the moving parts. NEVER use your hand to unclog snow in a snow
  • Do not drink alcohol and use the snow blower.
  • Be aware of the carbon monoxide risk of running a snow blower in an enclosed space.
  • Refuel your snow blower when it is off, never when it is running.
  • Do not store a gasoline snow blower inside your home. Keep it in the garage or shed.

Pushing a heavy snow blower also can also cause injury. And then, there's the cold temperatures. Cold weather can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. It can make blood clot more easily and constrict arteries, which decreases blood supply. It also makes it hard to breath. This is true even in healthy people. Individuals over the age of 40 or who are relatively inactive should be particularly
careful. For more information call the River Forest Fire Prevention Bureau at 708-714-3562

Senior Citizen and Persons with Disabilities Snow Removal Program

The Village is offering a Snow Removal Program to eligible senior citizens 65 years of age and older and residents with disabilities. Seniors who qualify for a senior freeze property tax exemption or other financial or unique hardship are eligible for this program. This program will assist eligible residents with snow removal from the public sidewalks and front pathways to their homes. For more details and to apply, see the application form. Completed forms can be submitted in person at Village Hall or via email.