The Town of Mammoth Lakes Has Some Good Advice for Being “Snow Smart”

Be Snowsmart this Winter!

Be Snow Smart by observing a few simple rules:

Mammoth Lakes receives some of the heaviest snowfall in California. The Town’s snow removal operators work diligently to ensure safe driving conditions for our residents and visitors. Our snow removal operators work around the clock in twelve-hour shifts that may extend for weeks at a time. Priorities are established to consider which streets need to be cleared first in order to maintain emergency access and safe driving conditions throughout the town.

Click here to Make a Plan – it may very well save your life!

Child Safety

  • Keep children indoors while snow removal operations are under way.
  • Children should not play in yards, build snow forts or dig caves near the road during snow removal operations.

Pedestrian Safety

  • Don’t watch snow removal operations from the edge of the road, and do not walk in-front of snow removal equipment.

Back Off

  • While in your vehicle, it is recommended that you stay at least 50 feet behind snow removal equipment. Poor visibility makes it difficult for the operator to see you.
  • Passing of a snowplow on the road should be done with extreme caution.

Slow Down

  • Excessive speed is the major cause of traffic accidents during winter.
  • When chain control conditions are in effect, the maximum speed limit throughout town is 25 mph.
  • Black ice frequently forms in shady areas and at night on seemingly clear and dry roads; use extreme caution when driving at night throughout the winter months. Patience goes a long way!

Protect Your Property

  • It is a violation of the Town of Mammoth Lakes municipal code to park on any roadway from November 1 through April 30.
  • Park all vehicles, including boats and trailers, as far off the roadway as possible and inside the orange snow stakes
  • Identify your vehicle’s location with poles to keep it visible for snow removal operators.
  • It is highly recommended that roofs have the snow cleared off of them in order to reduce the stress on the structure.  Even if all of the snow and ice cannot be removed, removing at least the top half to two thirds of the roof snow pack is very beneficial. In general, most roof structures in Town can tolerate up to four feet of snow.  It is also recommended that homeowners get on a roof snow removal program with a local snow removal contractor.
  • Please also be aware of shedding snow and ice at entries and exits.  Very large ice dams will form over time, and they will end up breaking loose from the roof and fall.  This is a serious life-safety hazard and should be watched at all times.
  • Individual propane tanks, along with the yard pipe assembly where the gas pipe enters a structure should also be cleared of all snow and ice.  The gas pipe point of entry into a structure is usually where the meter and the second stage regulator are located.  This location is usually marked with a 2” reflector above the assembly.

Light It Up

  • Leave the exterior lighting of your home on at night during winter storms. The lights are helpful to snow removal operators who may have poor visibility during storms and assists them in identifying the location of your driveway and home.
  • Please identify the entrance to your driveway with reflective poles, placing them a minimum of 2ft. to the property side of the Town’s orange snow stakes.

Snow Storage

  • When clearing your driveway, do not place snow in the roadway or on the Town’s snow storage easement (10ft.-wide area immediately abutting the pavement edge).
  • All snow must be stored on your property.
  • Please contact the Town of Mammoth Lakes if you require additional snow storage for your property.

Chain Restrictions

R-1: Chains are required on all vehicles under 6,000 pounds except those equipped with snow tires on the drive wheels. All vehicles over 6,000 pounds are required to place chains on the drive wheels.

R-2: Chains are required on all vehicles except four-wheel drives equipped with snow tires on all four wheels.

R-3: Chains are required on all vehicles without exception. Please be aware that these designations are for the safety of all and are enforced by public safety officers including our local Mammoth Lakes Police Department, Mono County Sheriff and the Highway Patrol.

The penalty for failure to observe the posted chain controls may include a citation and a severe fine. Remember to always carry chains and use them when required to do so.

Got Questions?

Call… do not try to stop or flag down the snow removal operators in their equipment as they are under instructions not to get out of their cabs while conducting snow removal operations. Instead, please call the Town of Mammoth Lakes:

  • Todd Murphy, Maintenance Manager (760) 965-3681
  • Haislip Hayes, Public Works Director (760) 965-3652
  • Public Information Line (760) 965-3612

Call 800-427-ROAD for current chain control restrictions or road conditions

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