The City of Saskatoon says crews are ready to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to plow and sand roads based on weather conditions, safety considerations, and the priority of the roadway.
With a budget of $5.5 million for snow management for the upcoming winter season, the Snow and Ice Program includes snow plowing, snow removal, snow disposal site and snow fencing. As in the past, additional funding $1.7 million, will be allocated to road sanding/salting in 2011-12.
This year the City added 2 new high-speed snow plows to its fleet of equipment. In addition to the City’s 16 graders, 7 loaders, 7 high-speed plow trucks, 4 under-slung plow trucks, and 6 sidewalk plows, outside contractors including 6 graders during dayshifts and 15 graders during nightshifts will assist with snow plowing on the priority street system in a snow event.
“Crews will begin plowing the snow as soon as there is an accumulation, and will plow streets based on the City’s priority street system,” says Pat Hyde, Public Works Manager. “The first priority is to ensure the movement of traffic on the freeway and major streets, including access to emergency locations and major transit routes, with the remaining routes cleared according to traffic volumes,” says Hyde.
If a major snow event occurs, or winds cause drifting on high traffic streets, the City could declare a Snow Route Temporary Parking Ban. “If a Snow Route is declared, we will work with the local media to let residents know that cars parked on the Snow Route, or streets which are identified with “Snow Route – No Parking” signs, will need to be moved so that crews can plow these streets as quickly as possible,” says Hyde.
Although crews will not plow residential streets, if deep ruts develop (at least 6 inches), call the City and we will make a decision on whether or not to plow the street. “Plowing rutted streets leaves large ridges of snow on both sides of the roadway which may impede parked vehicles, affect on-street parking, and cover sidewalks, so we need to make sure the problem is severe enough to warrant plowing the street,” says Hyde.
To help improve public safety and mobility, the Sidewalk Clearing Bylaw requires residential sidewalks to be clear 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.
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.”
To register to receive Snow Route e-notifications, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To report an unsafe sidewalk due to snow accumulation, call Public Works at 975-2491.
For more detailed information on the Snow and Ice Program, visit www.saskatoon.ca and look under “S” for Snow and Ice Program, or call Public Works at 975-2491.