Snow Removal: History & Next Steps Toward Improvements
Here is a short history on snow and ice removal on the Active Transportation Network and a new motion approved at the January Council meeting to review and provide updated information on the entire City’s Snow Clearing and Ice Control Policy.
- 2015: I reached out to gather input on issue and how the City could improve snow and ice removal on the Active Transportation Network
- 2016: I hosted more meetings including Public Service staff to gather on how to improve snow and ice removal on the Active Transportation Network
- 2016: I moved a motion directing the public service to identify costs required to improve snow and ice removal on the Active Transportation Network
- 2018: the Public Service recommended that the Council Policy on Snow Clearing and Ice Control for the Active be amended
- 2019: was the first year the amendments were implemented – which resulted in additional AT routes being cleaned, and an updated priorities for sidewalks and pathways
- January 2022: Council approved a motion to have the Winnipeg Public Service be directed to report back to the Standing Committee at its July 5, 2022 meeting on the following:
- A. An annual report on process and service improvements to the snow clearing and ice control and spring cleanup programs.
- B. Improvements to current services, including but not limited to:
- i. Improving timelines for when residential snow clearing will occur based on severe snow events through a delegated authority instrument.
- ii. Consideration of delegation of authority outside of the Annual Snow Route Parking Bans.
- iii. Efficacy and costs of plowing sidewalks to the concrete as opposed to snow packed levels.
- iv. Alignment with city policy of plowing sidewalks at the same time as roads on P1s, P2s and the enhanced snow clearing around schools.
- v. Options regarding sanding and salting and sidewalks to enhance walking conditions, ways to improve completion timeframes, as well as treatments made to sidewalks based on complaints.
- vi. Enhanced plowing operations in residential neighbourhoods without sidewalks.
- C. The impact of salt products used for snow and ice control on Winnipeg roads and sidewalks in relation to:
- i. The survival of newly planted trees;
- ii. The health of existing, mature trees.
- iii. Alternative products available for ice control which can replace the use of salt.
- D. A fully revised and updated Snow Clearing and Ice Control Policy which will include all the policy amendments that were approved by Council in the past several years.
So – it appears on July 5, 2022 the Standing Policy will be receiving and update – and then will decide if improvements will be made. It took four years (2016-2019) from a motion to see changes implemented. I’ll remain optimistic it won’t take as long for improvements to be made to the Snow and Ice removal policy this time.