Helsinki’s busiest roads and streets have now been successfully cleared of snow following a period of exceptionally heavy snowfall. At present, the snow removal effort is focusing primarily on streets in residential areas and pedestrian and bicycle paths. The snow removal effort is expected to take several more weeks due to the sheer amount of snow needing to be cleared.
Due to the exceptionally high amount of snow, the City has been making special arrangements to facilitate snow removal for nearly two weeks now.
Removed snow is constantly being transported to the City’s eight official snow dumping sites, in addition to which the City has so far established 15 temporary snow dumping sites for its own use. For more information and the locations of the snow dumping sites (in Finnish), please visit hel.fi/lumenvastaanotto.
The City’s official snow dumping sites have already received 55,000 lorry loads of snow this winter. Factoring in the loads delivered to the temporary snow dumping sites, the total amount of snow cleared is considerably higher. In an average winter, Helsinki’s snow dumping sites receive approximately 50,000 lorry loads of snow.
Entire vehicle fleet mobilised
The City continues to use all the snow removal equipment that it owns, including lorries, in its snow removal efforts, in addition to which all of the City’s contractors have procured additional equipment. The City’s Maintenance Service has also intensified snow removal and the monitoring thereof at schools and daycare centres.
Snow removal is currently being carried out almost around the clock. In order to reduce the resulting traffic congestion, the City has extended the opening hours of the Herttoniemi snow dumping site so that the City’s contractors can deliver snow on weekday nights as well. Around-the-clock operation is expected to remain necessary at least until the end of this week. The Oulunkylä snow dumping site can start operating at night, if necessary.
Helsinki is not expected to receive any further major snowfall after Wednesday, so the situation is improving. However, the fact that the temperature has been fluctuating above and below zero has increased the need for gritting, in addition to which the overall workload is increased by the need to open rainwater outlets buried under the snow.
Properties continue to be encouraged to remove excess snow
Overall, the snow removal effort has proceeded in good cooperation with the city’s residents. However, the City’s Maintenance Service would like to remind residents that snow removed from plots may not be dumped or stored on streets, even temporarily. Snow from properties can be transported to the City’s official snow dumps, if necessary.
In the inner city area of Helsinki, properties are also responsible for the ploughing and gritting of pedestrian paths as well as removing snow banks formed next to pedestrian roads as a result of the ploughing of adjacent driving lanes.
Parking halls granting discounts to those living in resident parking areas
While the snow has narrowed access routes, causing challenges in regard to parking, the City is urging drivers to make sure that their parked vehicles do not obstruct routes reserved for rescue vehicles and trams.
To facilitate the snow removal effort and make parking easier, the City has established temporary resident parking areas in the car park of the Katajanokka ferris wheel, at Hietalahti Market Square in Kamppi, at Fredrik's Square in Punavuori and at the sand field of the Hesperia esplanade in Etu-Töölö. The plan is to also establish a resident parking area at Kampintori plaza this week.
Some of the parking halls in the inner city grant a parking fee discount for people who are entitled to a resident parking permit. The discount agreement is valid for at least three months. For more information, please visit the City’s website.
Those who do not need use of their car during the winter can also store their vehicle in the City’s car hotel in Tattarisuo.
For more information, please refer to:
- Information on winter maintenance in Helsinki
- Street maintenance categories (in Finnish)
- Things you should know about snow removal (in Finnish)
- Regional and up-to-date snow loads on roofs and snow removal instructions (in Finnish)