Winter Frequently Asked Questions
On average, the residential parking ban is declared two to three times per winter when snow clearing of residential streets is required due to heavy snowfall.
Read more: Windrows of plowed snow - Private Approaches.
EXAMPLE: Windrow from back lane snow plow operation. Responsibility of property owner to remove. - Photo 1
PRIORITY 1 STREETS: Includes all Regional Streets (Major Routes)
PRIORITY 1 streets shall normally be maintained to bare pavement over the full pavement width. Generally, snow accumulating beyond a depth of 3 cm shall be removed through the use of de-icing chemicals and/or by plowing. Streets shall be plowed on a continuous basis until completed. Plowing shall be undertaken during the night as much as possible in order to minimize the problems associated with traffic and parked vehicles. The snow plowing operations shall be completed within thirty-six hours following the end of an average storm.
List of Priority 1 (Regional) and Priority 2 (Non-Regional) Snow Route Streets
Read more: What is a Street Priority?
Collector Streets (Non-Regional / Priority 2) include non-regional bus routes and streets based on traffic counts. The term "Collector" is used because these streets "collect" traffic from the surrounding major routes and Residential streets.
List of Priority 1 (Regional) and Priority 2 (Non-Regional) Snow Route Streets
Vehicles parked on the street present significant challenges to our snow clearing crews and it is vitally important that our snow clearing resources are able to conduct their work in an efficient and effective manner. It has been proven that one of the keys to having our citizens be respectful of the overnight parking bans is a clear and consistent regulation. Therefore the Snow Route Overnight Parking Ban must be applied in a similar manner on all City streets that are designated as Snow Routes. If any exceptions are made, it tends to quickly make the ban much more confusing to the public and ultimately less effective in limiting the parked cars impacting on our operations.
With regards to the time frame that the parking ban is in effect, this was carefully considered during the development of the parking ban and the enforcement period of four hours from 2:00 am to 7:00 am was a compromise between respecting the business needs of the community while still ensuring that City crews have sufficient time to undertake any snow clearing activities that may be warranted prior to the morning rush hours.
For more information, visit the Parking Bans webpage or register for email notification of upcoming parking bans.
The City does not remove high piles at private approaches or private entrances.
CLAUSE C-1 - CURRENT POLICY APPROVED BY WORKS & OPERATIONS COMMITTEE SEPTEMBER 7, 1993
Sidewalks on Priority 1 & 2 streets shall normally be maintained to a compacted snow surface. Plowing shall commence when an inspection, following a 5 cm snowfall accumulation or equivalent local drifting conditions, indicates a necessity for a clearing operation. The snow plowing operations shall be completed within thirty-six hours following the end of an average storm.
Sidewalks in the Downtown Square - CLAUSE C-2 Sidewalks on Priority 1 and 2 streets within the Downtown Square shall generally be plowed to a paved surface whenever conditions allow. However, minor snowfalls and/or warming temperatures between plowing operations may result in a layer of compacted snow or ice on the sidewalk surface. A plowing operation shall be initiated when the snow has accumulated beyond a depth of 5 cm. The snow plowing operations shall be completed within thirty-six hours following the end of an average storm.
For the purposes of this policy, the Downtown Square shall be identified as the area bounded by Broadway to Ellice and Main to Memorial. Notwithstanding these limits, Main from Higgins to Portage and from Broadway to the Assiniboine River shall also be included.
Windrows of snow plowed across private approaches and/or walks resulting from sidewalk clearing operations shall not be removed.
- Bridges and underpasses
- Where lack of adequate storage results in a reduction in the number of available traffic lanes thereby prohibiting the reasonable movement of vehicular traffic under normal winter driving conditions.
- Traffic safety devices such as guardrails and impact barriers.
- The City also takes advantage of mechanically blowing snow to adjacent properties wherever possible, rather than resorting to hauling.
Windrows of snow on boulevards adjacent to schools are not removed unless the lack of adequate storage has resulted in the adjacent sidewalk becoming obstructed so as to prevent the reasonable movement of pedestrian traffic.
High snow piles at entrance to school parking lots, bus staging areas - are the responsibility of the schools.
School Bus Loading Zones - are the responsibility of the schools.
Plowing standard is one bus-length for normal bus stops. Locations where multiple buses regularly pull up are cleared to approximately 3 bus lengths. Clearing of bus stops is done as much as possible, concurrent with the plowing operation - the initial goal is to open as many stops as possible in a short time period. In areas where on-site snow storage is limited, initial clearing or lengthening of the cleared area may take time (1 or 2 days normally) until a snow hauling operation is undertaken.
Truck plowing operations between major plow events will result in windrows (ridges of snow) along entire streets which could include bus stops. There is often a significant time lag between the plow and loader clean up of locations. This is due to the high speed of the truck plows in relation to the speed of which a large compliment of front-end loaders can operate as they may have to go back and forth and haul snow around corners.
- Melting freshly fallen snow on arteries that are heavily traveled.
- Preventing the formation of ice on the roadway surface due to freezing rain, fog, traces of snow, or frost formations such as on bridge decks.
- Removing layers of snow and ice that remain on the pavement after the plowing operation is carried out.
- Improving tire traction and braking qualities of the pavement.
Treated sand is also used in the City to provide a reasonable level of safety on our street system. Salt is added to the sand (5% by weight) to enhance its performance as follows:
- It serves to keep sand fluid and workable when stockpiled throughout the cold winter months so that the stockpiles do not freeze and become unusable.
- The salt has the effect of keeping the sand fluid and workable enough that it can be handled in the conveying and spreading apparatus used in the trucks that apply the treated sand to the streets,
- The presence of the small quantity of salt in the mixture allows the material, under reasonable weather conditions, to stick to the icy surface of the roadway, thus reducing the tendency for the sand to be blown off the pavement surface by the wind and passing vehicles.
Priority 1 and 2 Streets
Treated sand is applied to improve traction on Priority1 streets when the ambient temperature is below -7°C, a temperature at which salt is no longer effective. It is applied to Priority 2 streets as conditions warrant ensuring a reasonable level of safety to motorists and pedestrians.
The application of treated sand on Priority 1 and 2 streets is normally done on an intermittent basis along these streets, but may be continuous. After the initial application, and depending on the time of application, wind conditions, amount of traffic and any further accumulation of snow, additional applications of treated sand may be required at controlled intersections, bridges, subways, curves and inclines on the Priority 1 street system. The additional applications are usually made because of the significant traffic volumes and higher speeds on the Priority 1 streets. The action of vehicle tires at intersections dislodges the sand particles and the subsequent air movement caused by the moving vehicles blows the sand away from the wheel paths and to the side of the roadway resulting in the necessity for additional sanding.
Priority 3 (Residential) Streets
Operating procedures have been developed to reduce the application of treated sand on Priority 3 streets consistent with maintaining reasonably safe conditions. The application of sand shall be restricted to "spotting" or short bursts at controlled intersections, pedestrian corridors and crosswalks, railway crossings and inclines. There will be other locations where sanding may be required. These areas are to be identified on a "site specific" basis by the Streets Supervisor or designate.
Sanding will not be undertaken in alleys except under extreme conditions and where authorized by the Director of Public Works or designate.
EXAMPLE: Windrows left on front-street private approach cleared to City standards as part of residential snow clearing operation - Photo 1 | Photo 2
The snow plowing operations shall normally be completed within 3 days following the end of an average storm. Generally, the plowing of back lanes shall be undertaken concurrently with Priority 1 (major routes) and Priority 2 (collector) streets and prioritization may be necessary to facilitate refuse pickup.
During extended periods of mild weather, it may be necessary to undertake additional plowing of back lanes, where specifically warranted, to reduce rutting.
NOTE: WINDROWS (ridges of snow) resulting from the snow removal operations WILL NOT BE REMOVED - it is the responsibility of the homeowner to remove. Read more: Windrows of plowed snow - Private Approaches.
Windrow from back lane snow plow operation. Responsibility of property owner to remove. - Photo 1
When streets and walks are plowed, the windrow (ridges of snow) that blocks the pathway is an unfortunate by-product of the plowing operation and is not removed by City forces. If the plow were to lift the blade at each pathway, a ridge of snow would be left across the road or walk. With the large number of pathways this would defeat the purpose of plowing. The estimated cost of opening the pathways would be too great, and budget does not allow for this service.
- The property owner/occupant has a permanent disability/handicap and is physically incapable of shoveling snow (copy of medical certificate is required for all new applicants). This service is not provided for those with a short-term disability/handicap (eg. knee surgery).
- No other able-bodied person resides in the property owner's/occupants house.
- The property owner/occupant is unable to arrange to have this work done by others due to financial circumstances.
Where applicable, a By-law Enforcement Constable will personally interview the applicant to verify the above criteria.
If you qualify for the service above, please contact us at 311.
There are many agencies that assist seniors and persons with disabilities.
For more information on all types of services provided, not only snow removal, please call Seniors Resource Network at 204-948-4392 or visit their website.
You can also check the MTS Telephone Directory for more agencies and contact them directly for details.
As per By-Law 1481/ 77 Section 2.08 - 'No person shall move snow or ice from private property onto a city right-of-way' i.e.: Street, sidewalk, back lane, etc.
In the event that you have witnessed a situation such as this, please contact Public Works at 311. A By-Law Enforcement Officer will investigate situation, and if necessary, issue a notice.
The City's Planning, Property and Development Department Zoning Branch is responsible for the enforcement of violations of this nature.
Please contact 311 for further information.
Windrows (ridges of snow) resulting from snow plowing operations shall not be removed from loading zones serving commercial, industrial or apartment buildings.