You’d be excused for thinking that the City of Calgary was talking about snow removal this week.
But the city announced on Thursday that their annual street sweeping program is beginning on Monday next week, come poor weather or fair.
“If we had a listen to Balzac Billy, back on February 2, we would have known that we had six more weeks of winter, but suffice it to say that our sweepers will be active will be out there on on the 18th,” said Jim Fraser, northwest district manager for the City of Calgary roads maintenance.
The sweepers will be active from Monday to Friday during the daytime, and Monday through Thursday at night.
Signs telling Calgarians when the street sweeping will be happening in their neighbourhood will begin being placed this weekend. The city also has an address lookup tool to tell residents when their street will be cleaned.
Snow or rain next week won’t stop cleaning
There will be two crews deployed from each of the city’s northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast roads depots, and one from the central district. And each crew consists of three sweepers, two water trucks, and hand crew members putting up signs.
Fraser said that the small amount of snow on city streets right now is actually beneficial to spring cleaning. The moisture reduces the amount of water required to be used to keep dust levels low.
The collected material from the roads will be taken to the city’s landfills.
“Because it’s generally looked at upon as clean fill, in a lot of cases our waste recycling group is using that for cover on their on their landfill sites,” said Fraser.
Overall, he said, because of the colder temperatures over the past winter the city used more gravel than in previous years.
Enforcement for roads crews
Todd Sullivan, the coordinator of parking safety compliance for the Calgary Parking Authority, said that street sweeping season keeps them busy every year.
Sullivan said that CPA will be on hand to ensure that roads crews are able to complete their sweeping.
“If the cars aren’t off the road, then they can’t really complete the sweeping. So we’re here to just back them up and support them,” he said.
There will be large signs placed at the entrances to communities, and then smaller signs placed along curbs.
“We ask that people just follow the directions on their site, so stay completely off the roads until that four o’clock deadline,” he said.
CPA will primarily be issuing tickets this year for non-compliance. Costs to Calgarians for infractions will be in the two hundreds, but the early payment option will be approximately $160.
“It’s a significant ticket but if vehicles are not moved, it has a major impact,” said Sullivan.
“We genuinely hope no one gets one, and if we don’t issue a single ticket this year, we’ll call this success,” he said.
The parking authority will also be towing vehicles this year, primarily around major routes and the downtown. But also areas of the city that have smaller and tighter roads that would make work difficult for city crews.