2. Snow Facts - Did You Know?
Winnipeg’s Public Works Department was the 2008 recipient of the prestigious American Public Works Association’s Excellence in Snow and Ice Control Award, recognizing best practices in snow/ice removal while minimizing environmental impacts.
Winnipeg’s Snow and Ice Control Policy provides one of the top snow and ice control programs in the country. In fact, winter cities across North America regularly contact Winnipeg to learn from our best practices.
We provide services NOT offered in other cities. Winnipeg is one of the very few winter cities in North America that plows ALL roads and sidewalks:
• Regional streets 748 kms
• Collector streets/bus routes 712 kms
• Residential streets 1,852 kms
• Alleys/Backlanes 915 kms
• Sidewalks 2,588 kms
WHERE are Priority 1 and Priority 2 streets? P1 and P2 streets are designated priority routes because they are the main arteries of the city’s transportation system. They receive priority snow removal as they enable the movement of emergency vehicles and key transit routes. See P1 & P2 streets on the South Winnipeg-St Norbert STREET MAP.
WHAT is the priority of MY STREET? This link, the Citizens' Information Service, is a handy tool to determine your street’s priority and snow zone, and provides other useful information as well.
WHY do BACK LANES receive a priority clean? Back lanes are usually given an accelerated priority for plowing over a front access residential P3 street to allow garbage/recycling vehicles to pass. These lanes also do not have an adjacent boulevard in the lane for snow storage so a more frequent plow is required to avoid a huge build-up of compacted snow.
WHEN will a residential street plow occur? Winter street supervisors regularly check residential streets and will determine if a full residential plow is required.
Why are many sidewalks and paths still not cleaned? Without a doubt, timely snow removal on sidewalks/paths is the weak link in the City’s snow removal system. City policy states sidewalks ‘should’ be cleaned at the same time the accompanying street is cleaned (ie: Priority 1 street AND sidewalk simultaneously). See sidewalks on the South Winnipeg St Norbert Ward SIDEWALK map.
BUT – and this is not an excuse, but a FACT - the extraordinary amount of snow we received in late 2016 is being temporarily stored in close proximity to sidewalks, sometimes completely blocking sidewalks and impacting timely sidewalk clearing. I did a CBC Interview on Dec. 30, explaining the complications of excessive snow and how it impacts sidewalk snow removal.
There are many kms of stored snow along streets and sidewalks, often piled higher than the van I drive! Removing stored snow is a detailed job that takes time and care – care not to damage a bench, fire hydrant, regulatory signage, traffic lights, etc. See an excellent Winnipeg Free Press article re removal of stored snow. Street inspectors regularly monitor removal, and operators' attention to detail.
Last year, I requested that Public Works investigate options to improve snow removal on the active transportation network, and they will be bringing forward recommendations mid-March.
What about DAMAGE due to snow removal? With over 400 pieces of heavy equipment removing an enormous amount of snow across the entire City day and night, it is inevitable there will be some damage to curbs, trees and property. If you have observed damage to public or private property, please follow this process to REPORT the DAMAGE