Helsinki keeps clearing away snow – more snow to come this week

Helsinki continues to plough streets and transport snow away after a bout of exceptionally heavy snowfall. The most important routes were ploughed by Monday, and the clearing of residential streets is still under way. If the weather conditions worsen, most efforts will be focused on clearing main streets and public transport routes.

Snow is removed by both the City’s own service provider Stara and private contractors. According to reports from the contractors, all of the most important routes in Helsinki were cleared by Monday morning, 4 February.

The ploughing of residential streets has started throughout the city, and the situation varies from district to district. Most of the resources are focused on central areas of the City, i.e. areas with the most traffic and footfall. In addition to this, the City is combatting the slippery conditions on streets.

The entire fleet of the City is in use, i.e. a total of 400 ploughs and lorries, and Stara and other contractors have increased their machinery by an additional approximately 30 per cent.

The City’s snow dump areas are currently receiving 4,000–5,000 loads of snow daily. This means that the amount of snow dumped weekly corresponds to almost the entire amount of snow dumped in an average winter, that is approximately 50,000 loads of snow.

There is an exceptional amount of snow now, which is why the eight snow dump areas of the City have started to fill up. As a result, the City and the contractors have established and are establishing additional snow dump areas around the City.
Premises in central Helsinki responsible for clearing pavements and snow removal.

The lack of space for the storage of snow and the parked vehicles making it difficult to plough roadways pose challenges particularly in central Helsinki. Due to the poor condition of many pavements and piles of snow scattered around Helsinki obstructing the view, you should be extra vigilant in traffic. The Urban Environment Division will be processing any feedback on these issues as quickly as possible.

Premises must also stay active in combatting these difficult weather conditions. The City clears roadways in central Helsinki, but each property is responsible for ploughing their section of the pavement, removing the snow and spreading gritting sand onto the pavement. In central Helsinki, properties must also remove banks of snow accumulating next to the pavement after the roadways have been ploughed and transport the snow to the City’s snow dump locations.

The snow in courtyards and on top of roofs is the responsibility of the property elsewhere in Helsinki, too, as is clearing the entryway to the property after the streets have been ploughed. The snow must be transported to the City’s snow dump locations. Snow from properties must not be dumped on streets or in parks, and pavements must always be kept clear of snow.

The City to establish temporary parking areas

Public transport is operating well in Helsinki, considering the circumstances. In order to ensure that rail traffic is able to operate, some temporary parking and stopping restrictions have been put in place around central Helsinki.

The City has established a temporary resident parking area in Etu-Töölö on the gravel pitch in Hesperianpuisto (30–40 spaces) to facilitate snow removal and parking. As of Tuesday 5 February, the City was looking into establishing a resident parking area in the parking area of the Katajanokka Sky Wheel (approx. 20 spaces). The City will be looking into the possibility of establishing more parking areas this week.

According to information provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute on Tuesday 5 February, more snow is expected in Helsinki nearly every day this week. Snow has been falling in Southern Finland for an extended period of time now.

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