When there has been blizzard, removing the snow is the job of sweeping the driveways and sidewalks to make travel easier and safer.
In addition to the private task of shoveling in front of homes in cities and suburbs, there are officials involved as well.
Removal and ice control programs have reflected improvements in equipment as well as improvements in predicting snowstorms. The crews sometimes receive requests from residents that their particular streets be plowed immediately because they have a medical appointment or emergency.
Sidewalks should be cleared to the pavement (to help the sun melt residual snow) at least one shovel's width within 24 hours after snowfall ceases. Many authorities also use smaller vehicles on sidewalks, footpaths, and cycleways. Ordinances in many cities required homeowners to clear their sidewalks of snow, but snow removal was not yet practiced on a citywide basis.
Plowing cleared the main streets for traffic, but effectively blocked the side roads and sidewalks with huge, uneven mounds of compacted snow.
After a large snowfall businessmen with plow trucks often drive through cities offering to plow for money. In cities with regular amounts of large snowfall contractors with plow trucks, often gardeners who work on contract during the summer with the same plow-less trucks, will enter into an agreement for winter plowing of a given number of customers.
I currently clear my sidewalk after every snowfall, however just after I've completed clearing it the City comes by with their sidewalk cleaner and usually leaves a mound of snow on both sides of my sidewalk in front my driveway which I still have to clean for a second time.
Clearing will take place where it is necessary to ensure safety and maintain accessibility for residents and emergency vehicles. Removing snow from the top of your roof is a dangerous and physically demanding job.
Decisions on immediate removal versus "natural melting" can be hard to make because the inconvenience to citizens and the economy in general must be weighed against the immediate effect on the removal budget at that particular moment in the season.