Are there any major American cities that regularly experiences significant snow accumulation that do not provide or organize snow removal services as a communal service by the city authority for its citizens and leaves the organization entirely or to a large degree up to them? If so how is snow removal handled in those communities?

(I came across this question in an online debate and although some communal services are not fully or partially provided in certain cities, I haven't come across a mention of this particular service. Of course, this does not include simply outsourcing the service to private companies.)

  • What are your metrics for major American City? Jan 5, 2016 at 22:44
  • Fair question, I'd go with 500k+ inhabitants.
    – Peter S.
    Jan 5, 2016 at 22:48
  • 2
    @PeterS. Centennial, Colorado. I can't cite an example where the city exercises zero control over municipal services, which is why I have filed an answer. However, I also haven't stated No, because I'm opposed to proving a negative. Jan 6, 2016 at 21:32
  • 1
    @PeterS. define 'handled'. As stated, lots of services are outsourced to private companies...but the government is the one hiring them. Is that what you are looking for? Or are you looking for an example where the city simply doesn't want to have anything to do with road maintenance, so people figure it out on their own?
    – user1530
    Jan 7, 2016 at 0:21
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    That clarifies things nicely. Thanks for that. Alas, I can't think of any example...nor can I even fathom how that would possibly work with something like snow plowing. :) Maybe Detroit would be something to look into? Detroit essentially went bankrupt and lost most of it's population forcing people to fend for themselves in some ways.
    – user1530
    Jan 7, 2016 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


There is not an identifiable major city in these United States where the government has chosen to neglect municipal concerns in general, or specifically snow removal. At the minimum, the contract the provision of this services to private companies.

It is doubtful that the voting public would elect, or abide, a government that neglected these expected municipal duties; this is why local governments exist.

On the smaller level, towns with a very low population may not be able to independently support these services, but they would likely choose to band with other towns nearby, or rely upon the county government to provide services to their populace.

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