Thanks to the latest lake effect snowstorm, now just about every area of Western New York has been visited by that thing we're known for, and we know is coming, but for some reason are almost never prepared for.


Now, while there are some of us (looking at your skiers and snowmobilers) in the area who are quite happy that some lake-fed snow is finally falling in the 716, the majority of people are over it already (and winter hasn't even officially started yet). This is especially true now that most of Western New York is under some winter weather road advisory.

Now that winter parking rules are in effect and it's a regular sight to see snow plows on the road whenever it snows, and a street doesn't get cleared as fast as we like, the age-old WNY question is sure to be asked: Where are the plows?

Just about every single one of us has asked this question while living in Western New York at some point in our life.

So, about that question? Where are the plows? To answer it, we should probably know who is responsible for plowing the roads where we live.

In Western New York, a large mixture of highways, roads, and streets are maintained by different levels of government. Some roads belong to a town/village/city, some to the county, and some belong to the state - all of which have different plowing schedules and priorities.

Both Erie County and the City of Buffalo have tools available to tell what roads are supposed to be plowed by them or not.

Erie County Department of Public Works
Erie County Department of Public Works

The City of Buffalo, more than 1,600 lane miles of road within the city limits they're responsible for, even uses GPS to track the status of its streets and whether they've been plowed recently.

City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, Parks & Streets (DPW)
City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, Parks & Streets (DPW)

Here's a start to finding the plows.

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