This week, I have received a few inquiries regarding snow removal procedures within the city.
During winter weather conditions, the city operates within the Council approved Maintenance Quality Standards for Roads, Sidewalks and Pathways. It is these standards that determine in what order roads are plowed/salted and how often.
Usually, high priority roads are completed first within 2 hours of snowfall and require 2.5-8cm. This is because these roads affect the vast majority of drivers and are essential in providing emergency vehicles a connection to their destination.
Most arterials (high capacity urban road), and major collectors (roads which connect to residences) come second and will require 3 or 4 hours respectively after the same amount of snowfall. Subsequently, minor collectors are cleared less often every 5cm and require approximately 6 hours to maintain.
Residential roads are lowest priority in regards to street safety and therefore require 7-10cm of snow (depending on size) and can take anywhere between 10-16 hours to fully clear.
Because of its abnormally large area, the City of Ottawa spends a great deal in ensuring streets are maintained as efficiently as possible. In 2013, the City of Ottawa spent $79.2 million on snow removal and street salting, approximately $24 million over the anticipated budget.
As a result, there may be instances in which you return home and feel as though your residential street is being ignored; however, I can assure you that road services are hard at work, particularly during large winter events in which snow can accumulate quickly.
I hope that this helps to resolve some of the questions you may feel during snowfall events.
As your Councillor, I always welcome your keen input and ideas on how we can work together to keep an open dialogue within the community of Stittsville. Please contact our office anytime by phone at 613-580-2476 or by e-mail at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca