Snow Removal

SnowplowThe Olathe Public Works Department is responsible for snow removal on 1,250 lane miles of roadway and 1538 cul-de-sacs. The City follows guidelines to provide the most effective snow removal operation possible.

View the snow removal progress at Snow Plow Map for information about Olathe snow routes and GPS locations of our snow plows. The interactive map will be available only during snow events

Olathe works to keep 60 vehicles removing snow during the day shift and 44 operating during the nightshift. They work 12-hours shifts throughout a winter storm in order to provide 24 hour winter coverage. Scouting vehicles continually monitor all city streets to direct crews to dangerous areas. Crews are also in direct contact with police dispatchers, who can direct them to additional areas needing treatment in a winter storm. 

The City has Three Response Levels of Service that vary with each snow event, based on the amount of snow on the ground.

Please Note: With the exception of emergency requests from police dispatchers, individual requests for snow removal cannot be taken until after major operations have been completed.

The following tips can help to expedite snow removal and ensure your safety:

  • Call 911 if you have an emergency.  Dispatchers will contact the snow removal operation if emergency vehicles need assistance.
  • Remain patient; we will ensure that all roads are passable as soon as possible. This is our number one priority.
  • Stay off the roads, if possible. The fewer vehicles on the roads, the faster we can get them cleared and have you on your way.
  • Park your vehicles in your driveway.
  • Stay back at least 50' from the rear of a plow truck so the driver can see you. If you can't see the driver in his mirrors he can't see you.
  • Don't allow your vehicles to hang out into the street.
  • Teach your children to stay behind the sidewalks when they see the plow trucks coming.
  • Avoid passing or driving beside plow trucks.  Some trucks are capable of plowing multiple lanes of snow at one time.
  • Avoid placing snow from your driveway back into the street. Less snow will be pushed into your driveway by passing plow trucks.
  • Shovel the snow from your driveway to the down street side.  Down street is the direction traffic flows past your driveway.
  • Remove portable basketball goals, hockey goals, skate board ramps and other structures from the street.  This will enable plow trucks to reach the curb and eliminate damage to the truck or portable structures.
  • Maintain trimmed tree branches along the street.
  • Clear sidewalks adjacent to your property. The City's Snow Brigade Program helps elderly and/or disabled residents with snow removal.
  • Submit a request for Snow Removal.
  • Call 913-971-6010 to report a snow or ice concern.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do residential areas get plowed last?
The City must keep major streets open first to allow emergency vehicles routes to all parts of Olathe. As soon as plowing operations begin all trucks are activated which includes residential. 

How many major streets are there?
There are approximately 553 lane miles of "first attention" streets out of more than 1250 lane miles of streets in the city.

How many plows are used in plowing efforts?
There are 21 trucks maintaining the arterial, collector and business routes. With 34 additional trucks in the day shift for maintaining the residential and cul-de-sac routes, there are 17 in the residential at night. These units maintain more than 698 lane miles of snow removal in residential areas.

Why are some residential streets always plowed first?
Drivers are instructed to continually change the sequence for plowing residential streets so a particular street is not always the last to be plowed. But then it's not always the first either.

Why did I see a large plow come down my street, but miss my cul-de-sac? The large truck will plow residential streets and will assist with cul-de-sacs by plowing the throat (opening to the cul-de-sac) but not the bulb. The larger trucks cannot plow out cul-de-sacs safely. However the large trucks do treat both the cul-de-sac and streets.

Who is responsible for clearing and maintaining sidewalks during an event?
The adjacent property owners are responsible for maintaining their sidewalks. We ask that both business and residential owners maintain their sidewalks for safe pedestrian travel.