21 Nov Winter snow clearing in Ottawa
City crews follow a standard practice when plowing or removing snow. These standards are used to prioritize how frequently roads are plowed, how ice is controlled, and how snow is removed. Roads, sidewalks, and pathways are grouped in classes and by type with high priority arterial roads to be dealt with first. The first priority for snow plowing and removal operations is on main collector roads and arterials given the high volume of traffic and the overall impact on the transportation network. The City deploys its resources to ensure safe transportation for residents on the roads that carry the highest volume of motorists and transit services. Typically, residential streets are plowed last after the main roads and arterials are plowed.
The graphic above shows the approximate time it will take to clear snow from various city roadways from the end of the snow accumulation. There are specific snow accumulation levels which trigger the City’s response to snow plowing.
Winter overnight parking regulations ensure that the City’s snow-clearing crews are able to keep Ottawa’s roads safe and clear for pedestrians, cyclists, public transit, and motorists. Between November 15 and April 1, when 7 cm or more of snowfall is forecast by Environment Canada, parking will not be permitted on Ottawa streets between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. This includes any forecast for a range of snow of more than 7 cm (for example, 5 to 10 cm).
Snow removal is a different operation from plowing, and will take place when snow banks begin to restrict sightlines, travel widths, and pedestrian and cycling traffic. Snow will also be removed if it has trapped water on the road or sidewalk. The priority for snow removal crews is to remove snow on the major arterial roads and the transitway to allow buses to operate efficiently. Snow banks that impede pedestrians or vehicles near school and railway crossings are removed within 24 hours of the City being made aware of the issue.
Snow-Go Assistance Program
The Snow Go Assist Program provides financial assistance to eligible low-income seniors or persons with disabilities looking to hire an individual or contractor to clear snow from private driveways and walkways. Approved participants may be reimbursed for 50% of the cost of snow clearing per event, up to a seasonal maximum of $250. For more information visit ottawa.ca/snowgo call 3-1-1 or my office at 613-580-2486.