Streets and Forestry Operations:
The Streets Maintenance and Repair Unit is responsible for street pavement maintenance operations such as crack sealing and pothole patching, pavement and sidewalk repair following City utility work, winter snow and ice control, street sweeping, the annual fall leaf collection program and annual Christmas tree collection and recycling and plays an active and vital role in city street festivals and community events.
The Traffic Signs & Signals Unit maintains all street signs and traffic signals and performs pavement striping throughout the City. The Signs and Signals Shop, located on City property behind the Beck Center, contains a fully equipped sign manufacturing facility. The Signals crew is able to quickly respond to inoperative traffic signals due to storm damage.
The Forestry Unit maintains an inventory of over 13,100 trees located on public property, including those on tree lawns and within parks.
Trees are removed when they are diseased, dead or in decline and/or pose a danger to the public. The department has a certified arborist manager and a crew of four certified arborists equipped to trim branches, assess trees for disease and safety, remove diseased trees of any size including the stumps, plant new trees and shred the resulting wastes for recycling into mulch, soil and other landscape material.
The Forestry Unit Operational Principles:
- Maintain the health and vigor of all trees in the Lakewood Urban Forest – to capture the long-term ecological, economic and social benefits; and for public safety.
- Always plant the largest suitable tree for the site selected. Large trees live longer and provide greater economic and ecological benefits than small trees. Undersized trees fail to maximize the potential of the site. This failure is lost value for the community.
- Achieve a fully stocked Urban Forest to benefit all locations throughout the City of Lakewood and reach the peak Urban Tree Canopy that our municipality can achieve and sustain.
- Comprehensive tree planting plan for every street identifying primary and secondary species to be used on each street. Species will be selected based on largest and most urban tolerant species best suited for each site and overall distribution of species to insure proper diversity.
Leaf Pick Up+-
The annual fall leaf collection program begins on the first Monday in November and continues for a minimum of three collections over a six week period. This schedule will generally be adjusted to account for interfering weather conditions. Leaves and other yard wastes are collected at other times throughout the year when residents place them in the standard paper yard waste bags on the regular refuse collection days.
Click here for 2020 Leaf Collection Schedule.
Emergency Snow Parking Bans+-
Whenever there is snow fall of four (4) inches or more within a twenty-four (24) hour period, the emergency snow ban takes effect. The snow ban restrictions on parking take effect without requiring an announcement by the City of Lakewood. In the event of a snowfall of four inches or more, parking is not permitted on streets posted as emergency snow ban streets. Motorists should always consult the posted signs, and be advised that in the event of a snowfall of four inches or more, the emergency snow parking bans will be enforced.
The Emergency Snow Parking Ban streets are as follows:
- Athens Avenue (Carabel to Lincoln)
- Belle Avenue (Madison to Lake)
- Berea Road (Horseshoe Bridge to W. 117th)
- Bunts Road (Lakewood Heights Boulevard to Clifton Boulevard)
- Clifton Boulevard (Webb to W. 117th)
- Delaware Avenue (McKinely to Brown)
- Detroit Avenue (Gridley to W. 117th)
- Lake Avenue (Webb to W. 117th)
- Lakewood Heights Boulevard (Woodward to Horseshoe Bridge)
- Madison Avenue (Riverside to W. 117th)
- Riverside Drive (Sloane to Fischer)
- W. 117th Street (Berea to Edgewater)
- Warren Road (Lakewood Heights Boulevard to Clifton Boulevard)
- West Clifton (between Riverside and Clifton)
Lakewood Codified Ordinance 351.26 contains the provisions of the emergency snow parking bans.
Report a Pothole+-
The Division of Streets works on a continual basis to repair potholes throughout the City. Potholes are rated and prioritized to be fixed according to severity of the pothole and the location of the pothole (main street, busy side streets with a lot of traffic, other side streets).
If you would like to report a pothole, use the Report Problem/Concern form to report the location of the pothole (including the closest street address) and the pothole will be put on our list to be fixed. The Division of Streets thanks you for your patience and cooperation when reporting potholes.
Street pavement repairs can be divided into two categories: maintenance and capital reconstruction. The large capital reconstruction projects are managed by the Division of Engineering and Construction. Pavement maintenance consist of regularly scheduled operations such as filling cracks and rejuvenating newer asphalt surfaces, sealing the joints on concrete pavements as well as minor repairs such as pothole filling. In addition, contractors are hired to remove and replace larger sections of deteriorated asphalt pavement.
This Division maintains two modern street sweepers that are employed throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons. The purpose of the street sweeping program is to remove trash and grit that can enter the sewer system as well as to help provide a tidy appearance to our community. The street sweepers also assist with the fall leak collection process. We ask that all residents who use on-street parking to please move their cars when the street is posted for sweeping. This will enable our crews to do a much more thorough cleaning job.
Street Signs and Traffic Signals+-
This Division maintains all street signs, traffic signals and pavement striping in the City. A full-time Professional Engineer experienced in traffic engineering is on staff to perform studies and designs to improve the safety and efficiency of traffic flow in our community. The Signs and Signals Shop, located on City property behind the Beck Center, contains a fully equipped sign manufacturing facility. The Signals crew is on 24 hour call to quickly respond to inoperative traffic signals due to storm damage.
Snow and Ice Control+-
City of Lakewood Snow and Ice Control:
The City of Lakewood’s snow and ice control efforts promote safe vehicular travel during the winter months. The City attempts safe passage on all city streets at all times. However, keep in mind that each snowfall presents different conditions that impact the snow and ice removal process, such as the rate and accumulation of snowfall, moisture content, temperature, time of day or night, wind direction and speed and the duration of the storm, with the result that no two storms are ever identical.
The City of Lakewood is responsible for snow and ice control for a total of 211 lane miles (i.e. Clifton Blvd has six lanes plus one turn lane = 22 total miles). That being stated, the city first responds to all main roads, bridges, hills and secondary main roads which must be kept passable to provide a safe transportation network to the largest volume of people.
Snow routes priorities:
- Priority 1: Plow Mains, Secondary Mains, Bridges and Hills – Frequent salting.
- Priority 2: Plow Residential Side Streets – Reduced salting.
- Priority 3: Intersection radius clearing and plowing attempts with several passes to open/clear streets in locations in which parked cars have moved.
- Priority 4: Haul heavy snow volume accumulation away from congested areas and/or certain intersections.
In the event of heavy snow storms, when the City plows residential side streets, residents are asked to move their cars parked on the street off the street, if possible, to give plow trucks additional room to plow. When the City does plow residential streets:
- The goal is to make residential streets passable.
- Plow trucks may not plow down to bare pavement on residential side streets.
- Residential streets typically are not completely plowed the entire curb-to-curb width due the high number of parked cars on the parking side of many Lakewood streets. We always plow to the curb on the non-parking travel lane of residential streets.
Click here for Snow Removal FAQs.
More Information about snow removal:
Snow Removal FAQs+-
How does the City decide what streets are plowed first?
In removing the snow and ice, the City responds first to all main roads, bridges, hills and secondary main roads which must be kept passable to provide a safe transportation network to the largest volume of people. Once these areas are in passable condition, crews head to clear the residential side streets.
Why does the plow not remove all the snow from my road?
On residential side streets, the plow blade has “guards” that keep the blade just a fraction above the roadway surface. This is done to prevent damage to vehicles and equipment and help limit the damage to the asphalt and concrete road surface and damage to other infrastructure such as manholes, catch basins or water valves. Streets with low traffic volumes may remain snow covered longer. Salt is not very effective during heavy snow fall on side streets due to the low traffic volume needed to help activate the melting agents in road salt. Salt will be applied on side streets when the snowfall has slowed or stopped and when conditions exist that will make it effective or necessary. Salt applied on side streets with low vehicle traffic and during the course of active snow fall will get plowed out of the streets and unto tree lawns, thereby squandering the use of the costly resource and the time, labor and equipment spent and used to deliver it. Salt is always applied within approximately 100 feet of all side street intersections and on all hills when side streets are plowed.
Why do the snow plows push snow into my driveway apron and who is responsible for clearing it?
Unfortunately, it cannot be helped and we apologize for the inconvenience it causes you. The snow must be removed from the traveled portion of the road for public safety. Snow left in driveway aprons by the city while snow plowing is the residents’ and owners’ responsibility to remove.
Why doesn’t the city clean my driveway apron?
There are approximately 15,000 driveway aprons in the City. The time and cost to clean all the driveway aprons is prohibitive.
Can snow from my driveway be blown or plowed into the street?
Snow may not be pushed or blown into the street from private property, nor may it be pushed onto your neighbor’s property. Please remind your snow plow service that they are not permitted to push snow onto the street or onto property that it did not fall upon.
Who is responsible for removing snow from the sidewalks?
According to City of Lakewood Ordinance 521.06, property owners are responsible for keeping the sidewalks clear of debris as well as snow and ice within 24 hours of a snowfall.
Why doesn’t the city salt the side streets?
We do salt side streets on a limited basis as conditions warrant. Excessive road salt usage is costly, has a negative environmental effect and reduces the longevity of the road surface. For more information see our Salt Reduction Strategy.
Residents must obey all parking signs and winter parking restrictions. To provide effective snow removal, the City may order that special parking restrictions be put in place. These restrictions will be announced through the media.
Contact the City of Lakewood Streets and Forestry Department at (216) 529-6810.
Cuyahoga County Tree Canopy Assessment - 2019+-
Click here to view the 2019 Cuyahoga County Tree Canopy Assessment.
The city deeply appreciates and shares the concerns residents have for the Lakewood’s tree canopy. Proper maintenance of the mature tree canopy is a process of ongoing, year-round hazard tree assessments. The Lakewood Urban Forest comprises over 13,630 trees and is a living and ever-changing ecosystem with a unique set of challenges different from what a more natural forest would require from a management structure.
Residents are assured that the only trees in decline with significant structural defects that pose a great potential risk will be removed. The strategy to remove is carefully developed by the Division of Streets and Forestry. We do not remove healthy large trees. More often than removals, the Division works to identify trees with structural defects that can be pruned to make safe and retain ecological services citywide.
The tree maintenance project being performed this spring will remove 14 hazardous trees citywide. All trees that have been flagged for removal meet at least two of the following hazard conditions: risk of total failure due to significant wood decay fungi (either base/root flare, trunk/stem and/or branch collar attachments), noticeable external decay, deep vertical trunk cracking, large numbers of carpenter ants observed during summer months in conjunction with other defects, signs of internal decay and poor branch attachments that we have observed when up in the canopy when assessing trees, defects created by storm damage that we can no longer mitigate for preservation, past canopy leaf out at less than 66% in conjunction with other structural defects. Trees flagged for removal also all pose a threat due to being located in a high vehicle and pedestrian traffic zone with a high number of potential targets.
The stump or trunk may not always tell the picture of what the upper canopy decay or defects may have been. In some cases, the city may have to remove the trees due to buttress root decay. This is in conjunction with an increase in the amount of fruiting fungi structures (Ustulina deusta fungi – and others) at the base of the trunk or within old branch failure cavities. The presence of the Ustulina deusta fungi in Lakewood was confirmed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Those trees impacted by Ustulina deusta fungi at the base of the trunk or within old branch failure cavities concern us the most. Infected trees decay rapidly and can eventually fail, either from large upper canopy fractures, from the base, or large buttress roots that become more prone to windthrow during storms.
We identify and keep an inventory of potential hazard trees and rank them accordingly for strategic removals each year to strike the proper balance of a safe, growing and much more diverse tree canopy throughout Lakewood.
To learn more about the city of Lakewood’s Tree Action Plan please click here. To reach out to the Division of Streets and Forestry call (216) 529-6810.
Lakewood Tree Action Plan+-
Click here for Lakewood’s Tree Action Plan.
Why do so many Maple trees in Lakewood have black spots on them?+-
Every Norway maple in Lakewood has what is called tar spotting (black dots) or Maple tar spot on leaves this year due in large part to the very wet and cool spring we had earlier this year. It is less prevalent on other maple tree species, but approximately 50% of Silver maples also appear to be impacted. 95% of the time the tar spotting is only an unsightly cosmetic issue that can cause early onset defoliation, premature browning or leaf curl – but it does not harm or kill the tree. It occurs more frequently with wet spring conditions and often does not appear again (or is diminished) the following year if the spring/early summer weather is closer to normal.
All the Norway maples throughout Lakewood and thru Ohio and the Midwest are under a lot of stress due to climate change impacts that has made them more prone to repeated fungi infestations such as Verticillium wilt which can lead to canopy dieback and tar spotting on the leaves that we see throughout the City of Lakewood. Real wet spring weather and the more frequent freeze-thaw periods in winter with temperature spikes over 50-60 degrees followed by freezing compounds the above and can increase the amount of fungi infestations in all maple trees – Norway’s in particular and all other maples to a lesser degree.
However, some Norway maple trees in Lakewood have been impacted with a more serious fungal infection – Verticillium wilt. We have confirmed some infection present within several of the Norway maples we have had to remove that had been suffering significant canopy dieback the past few years.
Verticillium wilt is very difficult to control because it persists in the soil indefinitely, treatments/sprays are not highly effective. Sometimes infected trees can “outgrow” the fungus – which we have seen take place. We frequently prune off dead branches first to help the overall tree vigor. If a tree has lost more than a 1/3 of its canopy – the decline cannot be stopped at that point and the tree should be removed. Whenever we prune Norway maples, we sterilize our pruning tools/saws by spaying them with a diluted cleanser between trees.
In addition, trees already weakened by Verticillium can be more prone to tar spotting and these two fungi issues can overwhelm a tree to where it gets the tar spotting for several years in a row and the leaf canopy production decreases to the point where there is not enough leaf canopy to feed the tree root systems and the Verticillium fungi in the soil spreads more readily into decaying roots versus healthy root systems.
Those Maple trees only impacted with just the tar spotting alone should all be fine. Although a bit unsightly now, the fungal infection will not kill the tree unless the tree is also impacted by other more serious issues that are pushing it into decline.
Unfortunately, per research and data gathered by the United States Forest Service in relation to the possible impacts of climate change on various tree species – the Norway maple is one of the species identified to suffer the most mortality due to the impacts of climate change. All maple tree species are at a heightened risk of increased mortality rates, with the Norway maple already seeming to suffer from the changing climate conditions now present and not being able to adapt to the stresses being placed upon this species. In short, Maple trees need a longer dormant period to thrive – repeated winters with more frequent freeze-thaw periods with very warm temperature spikes in January and February followed by freezing compounds the above and can increase the amount of fungi infestations in all maple trees – Norway maples in particular.
This impact also underscores the need to plant for greater tree species diversity. Norway maples were over planted throughout Lakewood – it is our 2nd most common species (over 1,100 trees) – and many streets are a monoculture of mostly Norway maples with only one or two other species as not much tree species diversity was established on certain streets.
One of the primary goals of the City of Lakewood Tree Action Plan is to continue to introduce more tree species to all city streets and citywide. The city’s plan for tree species diversity = high reward.
To accomplish the goal of increasing tree diversity and reducing the likelihood of large tree losses across the city, the city has an established a benchmark that the total tree inventory contains no more than 30% of a single family, 20% of a single genus, and 10% of a single tree species.
If dying trees need to be removed, they will be replaced with tree species that are not as susceptible to Verticillium. It is cases like this that remind us that reaching our tree species diversity goals is more important going into the future.
We will continue to monitor all the Maple trees – in particular our Norway maple population – throughout the City of Lakewood and take any necessary actions accordingly.
More info about the city's tree canopy+-
When you replant trees that have been removed, are you replanting trees with native species?
We do replant with some native species.
As an aside, there is nothing about a tree lawn planting site that would mimic a native forest or native environment conditions, so we need to pick both native and non-native trees that can grow and thrive in a very tough environment that tree lawns present. Many native trees are not tolerant to urban site conditions and will not survive a tree lawn planting location. We do more native plantings in parks where the site conditions are more favorable to those native species that won’t survive on a Lakewood tree lawn.
Below are the large tree species we have been planting on Clifton the past few years.
Large Trees Tulip Tree Liriodendron tulipifera Sugar Maple “Green Mountain” Acer Saccharum “Green Mountain” Planetree – London “Bloodgood” Platanus x Acerfolia “Bloodgood” White Oak Quercus alba Red Oak Quercus rubra Sawtooth Oak Quercus acutissima Bur Oak Quercus macrocarpa Scarlet Oak Quercus coccinea Shingle Oak Quercus imbricaria Chinquapin Oak Quercus muehlenbergii Northern Catalpa Catalpa speciosa Sweetgum Liquidamber styraciflua “Accolade” Elm Ulmus “Accolade” American Elm “Valley Forge” Ulmus “Valley Forge” Autumn Gold Ginkgo (Male) Ginkgo Biloba “Autumn Gold”
Any info on what insecticide is being used and the treatment schedule?
We do treat all of our remaining 164 ash trees once every three years (we do a certain number each year) for Emerald Ash Borer infestation with insecticide injections of Tree-age Emamectin Benzoate 4.0%. It is approximately 85% effective in killing or at least slowing the pest infestation. Some trees do not respond to the treatments and continue to decline and must then be removed.
There is no viable treatment option that would slow or mediate the types of decay fungi we have noted and been monitoring on the Clifton Blvd. oak trees.