Marianne Wilkinson

Councillor, Kanata North

Winter Snow Clearing FAQ including new tool Where’s My Plow

Winter is here once again. Each year I receive many calls and complaints regarding winter maintenance in Kanata North. This page will answer many of your questions and provide an overview of winter maintenance in the City of Ottawa. During a significant snowfall, particularly when it is heavy, wet snow such as occurred on Dec 29, there may be delays.  I am frequently in touch with our surface operations staff to ensure the best service possible for the conditions at the time.

  1. Introduction
  2. Why hasn’t my street been plowed?
  3. When will my street be plowed?
  4. Why hasn’t my street been cleared but the next street over has?
  5. The plow dumped snow at the end of my laneway
  6. Can I park my car on the street in the winter?
  7. Parked cars and snow narrowed streets are causing problems for school buses and emergency vehicles
  8. I am disabled and/or low income senior citizen and need help with snow clearing
  9. Do you know a snow angel who deserves recognition?
  10. The catch basin on my street is blocked by snow and ice

 

faq4

INTRODUCTION

The City is responsible for clearing thousands of kilometres of roads and sidewalks and snow removal resources are deployed systematically in time to clear snow accumulation. All roads are grouped in classes and by type. They are listed in the Council approved Maintenance Quality Standards for Roads, Sidewalks and Pathways. These standards are used to prioritize how frequently roads are plowed, how ice is controlled and how snow is removed. High priority roads and most arterial roads are dealt with first.

The following info-graphic summarizes snow removal operations at a high level:

winterstorm

The chart below provides a detailed overview of the Maintenance Quality Standards on City roads:

street cclass

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faq3

WHY HASN’T MY STREET BEEN PLOWED

 

The higher priority roads are cleared more frequently. These include “arterial roads” such as March Road, and collector roads, such as Klondike Road. Residential streets are cleared only if 7 centimetres or more of snow is forecasted and the goal is to have residential streets cleared within 10 hours of the end of snow accumulation. Priority roads are cleared to bare pavement however residential road standards do not require bare pavement be maintained.

If there is a delay in clearing your street it could be due to a problem with the equipment.

City Plows are equipped with GPS system which provide real time route information to the plow operators. This has reduced missed streets extensively. Before you call 311 to report that your street has been missed, please use the City of Ottawa’s newest tool, “Where’s My Plow?” Information on this application can be found below under “When will my street be plowed?”

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faq3

WHEN WILL MY STREET BE PLOWED?


The City of Ottawa has launched a new tool where residents can check online to see when a plow is expected to clear their street.  Only residential streets are shown on-line.  If you live on an arterial or collector road, these are plowed frequently, and do not show on the Where’s My Plow application.  Some residents have commented that this tool will come in handy as they will have an idea of when to clear their driveways. By waiting until after the plow has passed, they only have to shovel their driveways once.

Visit and bookmark http://www.whereismyplow.ca/Where/snowplow to use Where’s My Plow.

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faq4

WHY HASN’T MY STREET BEEN CLEARED BUT THE NEXT STREET OVER HAS?


This comes down to logistics. Each residential snow clearing route has to have a starting point and end point. It could be that your neighbour’s street is earlier in the route than your street. Arterial and collector roads are cleared more frequently.

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faq5

THE PLOW DUMPED SNOW AT THE END OF MY LANEWAY


This is a common complaint that I receive each winter.  The City has tested many strategies that claim to keep snow out of driveway entrances. None have been economical or effective. Other measures we have tried have also proven to be both extremely expensive and very slow. A recommendation from the Surface Operations West team is that homeowners shovel their laneways starting at the road moving up towards the house.  This helps reduce the snow mounds that pile up at the road, that if knocked by plows leave large boulders in the laneway.

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faq6

CAN I PARK MY CAR ON THE STREET IN THE WINTER?


Winter overnight parking regulations are in effect throughout the city from November 15 to April 1. This means that residents cannot park on city streets between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. when a snow accumulation of 7 cm or more is forecast by Environment Canada in the Ottawa area. This includes any forecast for a range of snow of more than 7 cm, for example, 5 to 10 cm. These restrictions allow snow removal crews clearer access to streets, creating a faster and more efficient process. Vehicles that remain parked on the street during an overnight parking restriction will be ticketed. On-street parking permit holders are exempt but these are only in core areas such as downtown.

You can find out if there is a winter parking ban in effect and stay up to date on winter parking bans by:

  • Signing up to receive e-mail or Twitter notifications of overnight parking restrictions at ottawa.ca/winterparking. Locate the “Sign Up” box on the right-hand side of the screen. This service is free and you can unsubscribe anytime.
  • Visiting www.ottawa.ca for Seasonal Alerts
  • Calling 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401)
  • Tuning in to local media for announcements about overnight parking restrictions

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faq7

PARKED CARS AND SNOW NARROWED STREETS ARE CAUSING PROBLEMS FOR SCHOOL BUSES AND EMERGENCY VEHICLES


Cars parked on streets prevent plows from doing their job. Over time the streets narrow and can prevent school buses and possibly emergency vehicles from accessing your street. If you believe this is the case, please contact 311 and report this or contact me at my office at Marianne.Wilkinson@Ottawa.ca. One sided winter parking restrictions may be an option on all or a portion of your street.

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faq8

I AM DISABLED AND/OR LOW INCOME SENIOR CITIZEN AND NEED HELP WITH SNOW CLEARING


There are a number of programs to assist disabled individuals or low income senior citizens with snow clearing. Click here for more information and eligibility criteria.

  • The Snow Go Program provides a matching service for seniors and people with disabilities looking to hire an individual or contractor to clear snow from private driveways and walkways.  Residents who participate in this program are responsible for paying the individual or contractor removing the snow. For more information, Kanata North residents can contact Dee Machum at the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre,  (613) 591-3686 ext. 313, machum@wocrc.ca
  • The Snow Go Assist Program provides financial assistance to eligible low-income seniors or persons with disabilities looking to hire an individual or contractor to clear snow from private driveways and walkways.  Approved participants may be reimbursed for 50 % of the cost of snow clearing per event, up to a seasonal maximum of $250.  Rural applicants who have excessively high cost of snow removal, as defined by staff, are eligible up to 50% of the cost of snow clearing for their private driveways and walkways per event, up to a maximum of $450 per Term.  For more information, Kanata North residents can contact Dee Machum at the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre,  (613) 591-3686 ext. 313, machum@wocrc.ca

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faq9

DO YOU KNOW A SNOW ANGEL WHO DESERVES RECOGNITION?


A Snow Angel is a neighbour or friend that has volunteered to help you, or someone you know who is elderly or has a disability, to improve their accessibility during the winter by clearing snow or ice from their driveway, steps or walkway.  If you know of a resident of Ottawa who is a Snow Angel, the City of Ottawa wants to thank them! Snow Angels will be recognized with a certificate signed by the Mayor and a custom keychain with a snowflake symbol and Ottawa logo.

To nominate a resident for recognition as a Snow Angel, please give the City the name and address of the candidate, as well as relevant details (who they are helping and how) by one of the following methods:

  • Email:  communitypride@ottawa.ca
  • Mail:  Attention: Snow Angel Program, City of Ottawa,100 Constellation Crescent, 5th floor, K2G 6J8
  • Fax:  613-580-9605 Attention: Snow Angel Program

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faq4

THE CATCH BASIN ON MY STREET IS BLOCKED BY SNOW AND ICE

In Kanata North alone, City crews maintain more than a thousand catch basins. These need to be kept clear of snow and ice to prevent ponding and flooding, which can become a slip hazard if the water were to freeze due to a blocked basin.  Please help open catch basins and drains in front of your property when the weather becomes mild.  It is normal for water to pool around an unblocked catch basin in wet weather as roads are designed to drain based on sewer capacity. Report any service issues by calling 3-1-1.

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