Snow Plowing and Removal

Current Update

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Parade Route Clearing Plan

November 30th, 2022

  • Crews will be plowing the Santa Parade route tomorrow, starting at 12th Avenue and 48th Street.
  • If accumulation reaches the 10cm threshold, priority routes will begin.

Please report any concerns to the Town by using our Report-a-Problem feature on our mobile app or website (www.edson.ca/residents/report-a-problem).  If you require assistance with the feature, please call 780-723-4402.

Snow Removal General Information

The following are the guidelines laid out for crews when snow removal is necessary.

Snow and Ice Control Policy (O-T-3) - Updated October 2022

Snow and Ice Control Priority Maps - Updated October 2022

 

There have been some changes from previous years.

  • Cemetery roads are now included in Priority Route #1.
  • Neighbourhood collector routes added as Priority #3 to help relieve pressure in residential zones prior to full residential snow clearing in Priority #4.
  • Parking lots have been added as Priority Route #5.
  • Additional equipment is being considered in the upcoming 2023 proposed budget.
  • Earlier this year a "Snow event" was changed from 5cm to 10cm of accumulated snow. This change will allow crews to get to other areas that haven’t been serviced yet, rather than redoing a street that may only be lightly covered with a minor snowfall.

Note: If residential streets are being cleared and there is another heavy snowfall (10cm+ of accumulation), the snow removal crew will return to the high priority areas before completing residential areas.

Town of Edson residents are asked to watch for snow removal signs in their neighbourhood. Once the signs are in place all vehicles need to be removed from the street or risk snow removal not being done. Snow removal information is also available on this page or on our mobile app (turn on notifications).

Sanding: During regular business hours the town crews monitor the streets for sanding. After hours we have personnel that take calls and can send crews out if necessary. There is now a designated route for ice control to maintain problem areas first.

Hydrant Snow Removal: Banking snow around, or over a fire hydrant creates problems for emergency fire crews. Blocking access, or reducing the visibility of hydrants increases the response time and could result in unnecessary property damage. Fire fighters have to be able to locate the hydrant, remove the caps and attach the fire hose as quickly as possible. These caps are removed using a hydrant wrench; a process that cannot be done quickly when there is a build-up of snow around the hydrant. Your cooperation in maintaining hydrant access is greatly appreciated.

Sidewalk Clearing: Bylaw No. 1796 states that all snow and/or ice must be removed from sidewalks within 48 hours of the time it was formed and deposited. It is also unlawful to deposit snow on the road.

The Town of Edson would like to thank residents for their cooperation during the snow removal process.

Contractors are able to utilize our new snow dump. Please contact Engineering and Planning to make the request.

Procedure:

  • Send an email to Engineering and Planning and request the form for the snow dump access (engineeringandplanning@edson.ca).

  • Proof of WCB and Business License is required.

  • Documents will be reviewed and a profile set up with a code for the gate. The code is specific to each contractor.

  • All usage will then be accounted for on the Pal Gate system.

How do you determine the plowing priorities?

The priorities have been set based on emergency vehicle access, school zones, downtown parking, and residential access. 49th Street and 6th Avenue are always done first to open up the Town to emergency vehicles. Once priority routes are cleared, commercial zones and high traffic areas are completed before moving into residential zones. The commercial zone criteria is based on access to food and medical supplies. High traffic areas include our facility parking lots, senior housing, and 10th Avenue.

The priority list and map can be found above.

What triggers snow removal and what are the timelines?

A snow event is defined as snowfall accumulation of at least 10 cm. This triggers the priority routes to be cleared once the snow has slowed down. Depending on the severity of the snow event, and the type of snow (heavy, wet snow can take substantially more time to clear) crews can generally clear priority routes, commercial district, and high traffic areas within 3-4 days. Residential zones take a bit longer as signage must be posted, and vehicles may be required to be removed from the working zones. Staffing and equipment failures could impact these timelines.

Why do certain streets get done multiple times before residential streets are complete?

If we receive another snow event following the clearing of priority routes, crews are currently required to start over. The system is designed this way to ensure emergency access to as much of Town as possible. Some streets also allow for the moving of snow into a ditch, making it a much faster process than streets that require snow to be hauled away. The threshold was changed from 5cm to 10cm to allow crews to maintain progress longer before being required to start over on priority routes.

My street or cul-de-sac is near a priority route. Why can’t crews do this while they are in the area?

When dealing with priority routes, the main goal is to get them priority roads cleared for emergency traffic as quickly as possible. Cul-de-sacs may require special equipment to make the sharper turns and to haul away the snow. These are generally done while residential clearing is underway and the staffing/equipment is available.

Why do the areas that require snow hauling take longer than other areas of Town?

Certain areas of Town require snow to be hauled off rather than just plowed to the side of the road. Those areas include, Downtown, Westhaven, Tiffin, Westgrove and some parts of Hillendale. All of these areas need to be prioritized separately and may take a bit longer to get done based on equipment and/or contractor availability.

What is the process for hauling snow Downtown?

The Downtown core is now maintained as part of the commercial priority district - Priority 2. Main Street needs to be handled different as there is nowhere for storefronts to put the snow from the sidewalks other than on the street. If we do the streets too soon, the sidewalk snow will create issues on the roadway. At this time the goal will be to get it done as quickly as we can, while still allowing time to remove the sidewalk snow first.

Why doesn’t the Town of Edson run multiple snow removal shifts?

Our snow removal schedules are based on available resources, which does have staff and equipment limitations. However, shifts are designed to maximize progress, including multiple shifts and weekends as required, as well as the hiring of contracted trucks/equipment.

Some communities do overnight snow removal, can this be done here?

While there can be a benefit to overnight shifts in some situations, in residential areas it becomes problematic with vehicles parked on the street and noise levels. Early morning and night shifts are often utilized when contracted to clear along the highway or when working in the downtown core because vehicles and noise are less of a concern.

Why does the plow leave a large pile of snow across my driveway?

Because snow plows are designed to push snow to the side, snow does get deposited on residential driveways. The Town of Edson does take steps to reduce the amount of snow deposited as much as possible. Our graders have snow gates that should reduce the windrow left behind. Heavier snowfall can cause larger windrows, and while we do our best to reduce this, our main goal is to get streets opened up for safe travel for our residents and emergency vehicles.

How do you let people know what areas are being worked on?

The Town of Edson endeavours to keep residents informed at every step of the snow removal process. Notices are placed on the Town website www.edson.ca/snow, the Town of Edson mobile app, and Town social media channels. As well, signage is placed in each neighbourhood as crews work through the priority routes and residential neighbourhoods.

Why was my vehicle towed? What do I do now?

Once snow removal signs are up, residents are given 24 hours to remove their vehicles. If a vehicle is not removed it must be towed to allow access for our equipment. If your vehicle has been towed you’re asked to call the Bylaw Department at 780-723-3178 to find out which towing company was used and where the vehicle is being stored.

Why was my vehicle plowed in?

Residents are asked to park off-street after a snowfall to allow for proper snow removal. If a vehicle is left on the street when it is being plowed the operator has no choice but to plow around it. Operators do slow down when possible to reduce the amount of snow built up around the parked vehicle, but they must continue clearing the streets to get them opened up as quickly as possible.

When do you sand roads?

During regular business hours Town crews monitor the streets for sanding. After hours we have personnel that take calls and can send out crews if necessary. A sand/salt mixture is used to help remove the ice and add traction.

Are people allowed to use personal vehicles/ATV’s to remove snow?

The Town of Edson does not allow personal vehicles to be used to remove snow from streets. If property is damaged while a resident is using their own equipment to clear snow they can be held liable for the damage. Residents are allowed to use their own equipment to remove snow from their own driveway and sidewalk and a new procedure is being developed to allow for work in alleys.

What does the Town of Edson spend on snow removal each year?

Actual costs can range anywhere from $300,000 to over $600,000, depending on the number of snow events we receive. This cost includes our staff labour, fuel, sand, and any contracted services. For example, 2019 saw 11 snow events with a cost of about $635,000, while 2020 only had 5 snow events with a cost of about $315,000. A special reserve is set up to help cover costs for extreme circumstances.

I got stuck and a snow plow drove right by me. Why didn’t they stop to help?

Unfortunately, operators are generally not permitted to stop to help tow or push other drivers in most cases. Streets must be opened up for the safety of all drivers and if they make too many stops it would greatly increase the time it takes to get the streets cleared. Our main priority is to get the roads opened up for all drivers.