The information and links below and to the left are provided as an overview of winter related topics that affect Fitchburg residents. Links within each section will lead to more detailed information on the topics listed.
Accessibility in Winter
The Parks Division is responsible for plowing over 46 miles of paths and sidewalks comprised of 8 routes throughout the community. They also plow all of the City facility parking lots. Following a snowfall day, staff will follow up with equipment to clear crossings, wheelchair ramps, and medians. There are sections of paths and sidewalks that private business owners maintain and Parks and Code Enforcement work together to address.
Each year we receive calls from residents with disabilities who experience difficulty moving about in the community due to the snow. Large snowfalls combined with Fitchburg’s number of streets, crosswalks, curb cuts and bus stops make it virtually impossible to clear snow from every site on a timely basis. The City asks residents to assist in letting us know of problem areas by reporting issues to Report a Concern.
You should take time to clear around your mailbox to ensure that your postal service is not interrupted.
Snow removal operations occasionally damage mailboxes. If the mailbox was installed and maintained according to current city standards and was damaged from being struck by the snow plow, Public Works may repair the damage or you may receive some reimbursement if the case falls within the city's mailbox damage policy. If the mailbox was not constructed or maintained to current standards, the repairs will be the homeowner’s responsibility.
To report a damaged mailbox, call Public Works at 608-270-4260, email email@example.com or use the Report a Concern feature.
Metro Transit Travel Tips
Make sure to check your Ride Guide, call Metro's customer service center at (608) 266-4466, or plan your trip online before you travel. This is especially important if you're making a new trip or one you are not completely familiar with.
Make sure to also confirm that your bus or route is not following a detour due to construction or special event.
Add (608) 266-4466 to Your Cell Phone
Add Metro's customer service center number (608) 266-4466 into your cell phone before leaving for your stop.
If you've been standing at your stop for a long period of time, call to check on your bus. Buses can run late due to inclement weather and poor road conditions. Drivers maintain schedules as conditions allow.
Plan Extra Time into Your Commute
During snowy or other inclement weather, add extra time to your commute. Plan ahead and take an earlier trip.
Go to Metro Transit or check your favorite radio or TV stations for delay and other inclement weather service information. You can also sign up to receive service alert information via email or text messages to your cell phone.
Pet Waste: Keep it in the Trash and Pledge to Protect Fitchburg’s Creeks
It is important to pick up after your pet all year long, but especially during winter and spring. If you do not pick up pet waste right away, it is soon encased in snow and ice, ready to be carried away with melt water during the spring thaw. Grassy areas that would normally allow water to soak in are frozen during winter and early spring, so they are more like a parking lot, greatly increasing the surface area from which runoff flows. As a result, the bacteria and nutrients found in pet waste are much more likely to make their way to the nearest storm drain. Contrary to common belief, rain and melting snow that goes into storm drains do not go to the wastewater treatment plant. Rather, this runoff goes to the nearest Fitchburg creek.
Fitchburg is the headwaters of the following creeks, which drain to downstream lakes and rivers: Nine Springs Creek, Swan Creek, Murphy’s Creek, Badfish Creek, Story Creek/Allen Creek, and Badger Mill Creek. Be sure to continue to scoop the poop and either flush it down your toilet or bag it and place it in your green refuse cart.
Fitchburg’s Creek Supporter Pledge Program (www.fitchburgwi.gov/stormwater) offers residents a reduction in their storm water utility bill of $4 to $8 per year for pledging to do at least 34/57 actions, like scooping the poop, which is much better than paying the $114 citation for leaving pet waste behind.
For more ideas on how you can help improve water quality near you, visit www.fitchburgwi.gov/stormwater or www.myfairlakes.com.
Refuse & Recycling Delays, Holiday Tree Collection, Holiday Recycling, Winter Refuse Cart Placement
Holiday Recycling & Collection Delays: https://www.fitchburgwi.gov/2570/Seasonal
Refuse & Recycling Calendar and Holiday Tree Collection: https://www.fitchburgwi.gov/DocumentCenter/View/17998/2023_Collection_Calendar-
Winter Refuse and Recycling Cart Placement:
Wintertime means new challenges for everyone as we deal with the snow and cold. It’s important to follow these two Fitchburg Refuse/Trash & Recycling Cart Placement guidelines year-round:
- Place your carts ~1 foot to 3 feet behind the back of the curb (or edge of the street)
- Carts should be at least 4 feet away from surrounding objects
- Do NOT place carts in the street.
- Avoid placing your carts curbside the night before collection if high winds or storms are expected. High winds and storms can tip over the carts and leave a mess.
The photo shows the recommended placement. Each cart needs to be close enough to the street for the arm of the collection truck to reach it, and 4 feet away from surrounding objects for the grabbers to wrap around the cart. Carts placed in the curb or street are a safety hazard for traffic, create obstacles for snowplows and street sweepers and can be damaged if hit. (Damages caused by carts placed in the street are the homeowners’ responsibility.) By city ordinance, refuse and recycling carts may not be placed at the street more than 24 hours prior to the scheduled pickup and need to be removed within 12 hours after the pickup. Also, the carts cannot be stored in front of a house or along its side yard. For more information, please visit: www.fitchburgwi.gov/solidwaste or contact Fitchburg Public Works at (608) 270-4260.
Salt and Sustainability
When snow and ice start to accumulate on Fitchburg roads, parking lots, and sidewalks, one of the most common strategies is to apply salt. While salt works well to melt ice and snow, unfortunately it contains chloride that dissolves in melt water and eventually washes into our lakes, rivers and streams. Once in the water, there’s no way to remove the chloride, harming fish and plant life in our waters. Salt can also create costly repair bills when it corrodes steel on door jams or concrete. Here are some ways for businesses and homeowners to reduce salt use while still making sure your sidewalks and driveways are safe:
- Shovel. The more snow and ice you remove manually, the less salt you will have to use, and the salt can work more effectively. Break up ice with an ice scraper and then decide if application of a deicer or sand is even necessary to maintain traction.
- More salt does not mean more melting. You only need about 8 oz of salt (a paper cup’s worth) per 150 square feet of pavement (about the size of a parking space).
- 15 degrees F is too cold for salt to work. Most salts stop working around this temperature. Instead, use sand for traction.
- Sweep up extra salt. If salt or sand is visible on dry pavement, it is no longer doing any work and will be washed away.
Senior Center Winter Weather Policy
In the event of inclement weather, the Senior Center will automatically cancel both home-delivered and congregate meals when the Oregon Schools are closed.
The cancellation of all other programs will be at the discretion of the class instructor and/or the Senior Center Director. If you have any questions about class cancellations during the winter months, please call the main line at (608) 270-4290. In the event staff are unable to answer the phone, all cancellations are recorded on the Senior Center voicemail message.
Sidewalk Snow Removal Ordinance
Sec. 27-114. - Snow and ice to be removed from sidewalks.
The owner of each lot or part of lot shall remove or cause to be removed all snow and ice which may have fallen or accumulated upon the sidewalk in front of the premises which he/she owns not later than 6:00 p.m. of the day after the same has ceased to fall or accumulate; provided that when ice has so formed upon any sidewalk that it cannot be removed, then the owner shall keep the same effectively sprinkled with sand, salt or other suitable substance in such manner as to prevent the ice from being dangerous, until such time as it can be removed, and then it shall be promptly removed.
Winter Fun in and Around Fitchburg
All Fitchburg parks open at 8 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. every day.
Wildwood Park, 5768 Barbara Drive
Chicory Meadow Park, 3061 Edenberry Street
McKee Farms Park, 2930 Chapel Valley Road (lights available until 10:00 p.m.)
Huegel-Jamestown Park, 5810 Williamsburg Way
Please do not damage skating surface by going on ice when it is soft/watery. Check rink conditions before you go here.
Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing
Nine Springs Golf & Disc Course, 2201 Traceway Drive - A mixed use path is groomed when snow & staffing allows.
McGaw Park, 5236 Lacy Road - Trails are not groomed & are mixed use. View the trail map here.
McKee Farms Park, 2930 Chapel Valley Road - No trails are groomed, but large acreage allows plenty of space for "off-roading".
View the recreation program guide.
Questions about recreation program cancellations? Visit https://www.fitchburgwi.gov/605/Program-Cancellations for updates.
Winter Biking Options Abound in Fitchburg
Consider keeping in motion on your bike this winter. With the right equipment and layers, you can enjoy safe and warm bike rides year-round! Bike paths are plowed in winter for recreational riders and commuters alike, though the day of a storm and a couple days after are not usually suitable for bicycling while the roads and paths are being cleared. For more information on winter biking and gear, visit http://www.fitchburgwi.gov/221/Biking or stop in at Wheel & Sprocket at 2970 Cahill Main, wheelandsprocket.com.