With the first hint of snow just around the corner, the City of Calgary is already talking removal.
Following direction from Calgary City Council, city crews will be clearing snow on priority routes and bus stops faster this winter.
Major roadways in excess of 20,000 trips per day, like Crowchild Trail and Macleod trail, along with downtown roads and cycle tracks will now be cleared within 18 hours after the end of snow falls. The previous benchmark time was 24 hours.
High volume community routes and transit stops will also be having their time to clear reduced to 18 hours.
“Despite the beautiful weather right now, we know that winter is right around the corner, and we wanted to let everyone know that our crews have moved into 24 hour coverage,” Chris Hewitt, manager of mobility maintenance for the City of Calgary.
“We are well prepared to respond to any winter weather that we may get in the coming days.”
Hewitt said that increased investments from Council has decreased that total clear time of the city’s priority one and two routes from 48 hours to 36.
Funding has also been provided for maintaining a 24-hour snow removal target on prioritized pathways, sidewalks bordering City of Calgary properties, and pedestrian bridges, transit stops, and locations with high volumes of foot traffic.
He said that so far the city has spent approximately half of its $51 million budget for snow and ice control for 2022.
No changes coming to residential roads
No changes are coming to the level of snow clearing on residential roads, said Hewitt.
“Our snow and ice control plan for residential roads is to keep them safe and passable, flat and free of ruts,” he said.
“We don’t clear the bare pavement on residential roads, but will continue to provide the same level of service as we have in past years.”
The City of Calgary said that they would continue to monitor residential roads after the initial 36 hours of priority snow and ice removal, including levelling ruts or applying grip material as needed.
Calgarians can follow along in real-time using the road conditions interactive map that shows the progress for route clearing, and the locations of sanders and plows.
The names voted on in 2021 as part of the Name a Snow Plow Contest will continue to be used this year.
“We had a lot of fun with it, and we were glad that it seemed as though the citizens also enjoyed enjoyed that that idea,” said Hewitt.
The city is asking that drivers take the time over the next several days to prepare themselves for winter. That includes putting winter tires on their vehicles, and adding extra time for delays during commutes.