Winter Snow & Ice Operations
During snow and ice road conditions, the City aims to maintain key travel routes which are vital for transportation and for emergency vehicle access.
Crews regularly monitors major weather forecaster providers in order to have time to prepare ahead of any storm. Equipment is dispatched as needed and apply a pre-salt to road surfaces.
Priority locations for snow and ice removal are:
- Priority 1 routes: Major roads, emergency access routes and bus routes
During times of continuous snowfall, crews return to clearing priority 1 routes as these routes are vital to travel in the City and are used by emergency services.
- Priority 2 routes: Secondary through roads in residential areas
Once all priority routes are cleared, crews will begin tackling non-priority routes.
Map of Priority Routes
View the map below or download to view.
Due to the winter weather conditions, and your safety, there will likely be road closures. Road closures during a snowfall are put in place for your safety. These closures are often due to the steep and slippery conditions of the road. Please respect the closures and do not attempt to drive through these roads.
Barricades are set up to stop traffic from entering roads which become dangerous in inclement weather, such as steep hills like Oxford Street.
Garbage, Recycling and Green Waste Collection on a Snowy Day
During snow and ice conditions, waste collection may be delayed. If your collection day is missed City crews will attempt to make the collection later in the day. Please ensure your containers are cleared of snow.
The City will make every effort to keep residents informed and disruptions minimal. Your patience and understanding during these times is appreciated. If you have any questions, please contact Engineering & Operations at 604-541-2181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The City's Parks crew works to clear sidewalks and parking lots at civic facilities. Once those priority areas are clear, they tackle walkways in the City such as the waterfront promenade. In times of continuous snowfall, the Parks crew will return to clearing priority sidewalks and parking lots.
Public Sidewalk Clearing Responsibilities
Residents and businesses are required to clear snow and ice from sidewalks surrounding their property by 10 a.m. following a snowfall as per Street and Schedules Bylaw No. 1529. Thank you for doing your part to be a good neighbour and for helping to keep our community safe.
Catch Basin Clearing
When out shovelling, please take a moment to clear any drains adjacent to your property, especially during melting conditions. Blocked catch basins may result in excess water along the road area, which can become dangerous if it subsequently freezes. Blocked catch basins may result in flooding of adjacent properties depending on the extent of the blockage and the amount of melting snow.
- Cold, tight muscles are prone to injury, so try going for a brisk walk, marching in place or doing any other full-body activity before shovelling.
- Pace yourself by removing small amounts of snow frequently instead of removing a large pile all at once.
- Shovel snow into your yard, not onto the street. Excess snow shovelled onto the street can become an obstacle and create unsafe conditions.
- Spread sand, rock salt or kitty litter on your sidewalk or driveway to increase traction and reduce accidents.
- Take a 10 or 15-minute break during shovelling and stretch out your arms, shoulders and back to keep them warm and flexible.
- Use an ergonomic snow shovel with a curved or adjustable handle to make snow removal easier.
- Use the shovel to push snow to one side rather than lifting it. If lifting is necessary, bend your knees to take the strain off your back.
- Wear shoes or boots with good treads to minimize the risk of slipping.
Everyone needs to prepare for the unpredictability of winter weather. Please don’t wait until the snow arrives. It’s important that you and your vehicle are prepared for winter conditions.
View five actions to reduce the risk of a winter driving crash:
- Prepare yourself and your vehicle for the winter season and conditions now. Do not wait until the snow, black ice, rain, fog, extended periods of darkness and colder temperatures hit. Whether you are driving a fleet or personal vehicle for work, ensure it is winter ready with a pre-season maintenance check-up. Ensure your vehicle is equipped with:
- A battery, brakes, light and fuses, cooling and heating systems, electrical and exhaust systems and belts and hoses, which have been found to be in good condition by a qualified person and meet manufacturer’s specifications.
- Chains in good condition, that fit your tires and that you know how/ have the tools to put on, if you operate a commercial truck. Commercial vehicles in B.C. are legally required to carry chains from October 1 to March 31.
- A set of four matched winter tires. Winter tires in good condition with adequate tread depth are a legal requirement on B.C. highways during the winter driving season. While tires with the mud and snow symbol meet the minimum legal requirement, tires with the 3-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol offer the best traction on snow and ice, and when temperatures fall below 7°C.
- Determine if driving for work is necessary. If possible, accomplish your work tasks via email, conference calls, online meetings, courier or public transit to eliminate the need to drive.
- Check road and weather conditions and determine whether it’s safe to drive. Check road conditions by using resources such as DriveBC.ca for highway driving or news or weather services before a trip. Don’t drive if conditions are unsafe, or worsening; cancel or re-schedule trips when necessary.
- Plan your trip. If driving is necessary, develop a trip plan including determining the safest route, alternate routes in case of closures or conditions, rest breaks and who and when you’ll be checking in with. Determine whether your vehicle is right for the trip; is it equipped for roads and weather conditions? Determine whether you are fit to drive; ensure you aren’t fatigued or on any medication, and that you have appropriate snacks and water available. Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s safety features; adjust mirrors, seats, steering wheels, and head rests.
- Drive safely:
- Learn or be trained in winter driving skills such as how to brake safely and get out of a skid.
- Maintain a safe following distance. It takes longer to stop on a slippery road. Look ahead and keep plenty of distance between you and other cars - at least four seconds.
- Slow down. No matter how much driving experience you have, the way your vehicle will handle on snow, ice or rain can be unpredictable. The posted speed limit is the maximum speed allowed under ideal conditions. Drivers have a legal responsibility to drive according to the conditions, which often means driving below the posted speed limit. Reducing your speed will allow you more time to react to hazards such as black ice or pedestrians at intersections.
To find out more about winter driving safety, please visit the following websites:
For more information on winter snow and ice operation, contact the Engineering & Operations Department at 604-541-2181 or email@example.com