May 30, 2024

Winter Conditions

Snow and Ice Control – News release November 2023

With winter now upon us, the City’s operations department is ready to provide snow and ice control. Policy guidelines provide for reasonably safe movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic while winter conditions prevail, operating within budget allocations and equipment and personnel availability.

The City monitors road and weather conditions throughout the winter months. When snow and icy conditions are forecast, crews and equipment are prepared and when it snows, crews are dispatched to clear roads on a priority basis. The City’s first priority during and after a snowfall is to clear major arterial streets (such as Island Highway, Alberni Highway) as well as access to emergency services (RCMP, fire hall, ambulance). Clearing collector streets (such as Temple, Pym, Hirst) is the second priority. Once conditions have stabilized on these priority routes, crews will begin to clear residential streets. Should we experience continued snow, it may take crews longer to reach residential streets.

Plowing of streets
Plowing of streets will commence when three inches of snow has fallen, or when road conditions are such that a lesser amount of snow results in dangerous conditions. Road plowing priorities are arterial roads and highways, major collector roads, minor collector roads and then local roads (within three days, weather permitting). The plowing priorities of routes adjacent to facilities are emergency service facilities, bus routes, steep hills and school areas.

Wherever possible, drivers are asked not to park vehicles on the streets during snowfalls as this impedes plows and may result in your vehicle being buried by snow. During the plowing of streets, a windrow may be formed across driveways. This is unavoidable, especially during heavy snowfalls. As the City does not have the equipment or personnel for a private driveway/access clearing, it is the owner’s responsibility to open access to the adjoining roadway. Clearing of private roads and parking lots is the responsibility of the property owners who must ensure that snow removed from their property is not deposited on the adjoining public sidewalks or roadway.

Snow clearing from sidewalks is the responsibility of the adjacent property owners who should ensure that snow removed from the sidewalks is not deposited on the adjoining roadway. During heavy snowfall, in areas of heavy pedestrian traffic, adjacent to City-owned property, during regular office hours, crews will support public sidewalk clearing through use of snow blowers and other snow removal equipment as equipment and personnel allow.

Brining of City Roads
When night-time temperatures are anticipated to be between minus two and plus two degrees Celsius, our operations crews will proactively brine the roads during the day. Brining of roads is a common practice aligned with City procedures to keep our roads from icing. Brining during daytime hours is safer for our crews, less costly for the City, and ensures roads are ready for changing conditions during the evening, night and ready for the early morning lower temperatures.

Contact information
During regular office hours (8 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday), questions or concerns about the City’s snow and ice control program should be directed to operations at or 250 248-5412. If there is an emergency requiring City assistance outside of regular hours, call 250 248-6144.

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