For Immediate Release: November 7, 2013
2013-2014 SNOW & ICE PLAN
Winter has arrived in Saskatoon! The City experienced its first large snow event of the season this past weekend. Treacherous driving conditions were the result of the combination of snow melting on unfrozen roads and freezing rain, followed by low temperatures. The roads required continuous passes of the sanders over the Priority 1 and many of the Priority 2 streets for traction and to try and reduce the ice bonding. Once the snow ceased, sanding/salting continued and crews completed the Priority 1 streets and had Priority 2 and 3 streets, paths and sidewalks cleared within the target time line of 72 hours.
“Our goal is to make it easy and safe for people to move around Saskatoon. Crews are working continuously to manage snow throughout the winter and are ready to jump into action when a snow event comes our way,” says Pat Hyde, Director of Public Works. “The first priorities are to ensure movement of traffic on the freeway and major streets, access to emergency locations and to keep major transit routes cleared.”
City road maintenance staff and contractors are committed to doing their best and working as quickly as possible to provide safe winter conditions for drivers and pedestrians. For everyone’s safety, please watch for crews on the road. The large machines used are equipped with flashing amber lights, move slowly in teams of two or more, and can be found on the road at any time of day or night on any roadway. Drivers are reminded to please slow down and keep 15 metres behind maintenance equipment; be prepared to stop; and, if required, use extreme caution when passing.
The Snow and Ice Program budget for 2013 (January-December) is $8.40 million. Activities for this season include snow plowing, sanding/salting, snow removal in business improvement districts and school zones, snow storage sites in each quadrant, two city-wide residential clearings, and snow fencing.
The current approved Level of Service for the 2013 operating budget does not include regular residential snow clearing outside of the Priority Street system. The City may clear residential streets where deep ruts (at least 6 inches) become a problem. “Plowing rutted streets leaves large ridges of snow on both sides of the roadway which may impede parked vehicles, affect on-street parking, so we need to make sure the problem is severe enough to warrant plowing the street,” says Hyde. Budget proposals for the 2014 operating budget provide for two city wide snow clearings. This would include all residential and industrial/commercial streets that are not on the priority street system. Once the packed snow on the roads reach 6 inches, a city-wide clearing will begin by neighbourhood, including industrial areas. To ensure the roads are well-cleared and snow can be properly stored, No Parking signs will be posted and vehicles left on a scheduled street will be ticketed and relocated.
The Sidewalk Clearing Bylaw requires owners or occupants of property to clear sidewalks of snow and ice within 48 hours of a snowfall, and sidewalks in certain commercial and suburban areas to be cleared within 24 hours of a snowfall to prevent injury and inconvenience for pedestrians. Please exercise caution and care when shovelling, especially during extremely cold weather.
The Street Use Bylaw prevents residents from throwing or shoveling snow on the road because it can affect drainage and the safety of pedestrians or drivers. Cleared snow must be placed on your property or removed, and not placed on the roadway. To report a bylaw violation, please contact the City’s bylaw inspector at 306-975-3193.
“The City is also encouraging residents to be “Snow Angels” and help their neighbours keep their sidewalks clear of snow if they are unable to do it themselves,” says Hyde. “Winter is a fact of life in our city, and when snow starts accumulating, we all need to work together to ensure our streets and sidewalks are as safe as possible. Motorists are urged to use caution, slow down and drive according to winter conditions.”
If someone has helped you this winter, recognize them as a “Snow Angel” by emailing your story and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find more on the Snow and Ice Program at www.saskatoon.ca/go/snow or call Public Works customer service at 306-975-2476.
For more City of Saskatoon Public Service Announcements, News Releases, Traffic Detours and Service Alerts, visit www.saskatoon.ca or connect with the City of Saskatoon on Twitter and Facebook.