It’s that time of the year again – winter!
A Canadian winter can sometimes mean a lot of snow, and the City of Toronto is ready.
Here are a few things that you can expect as we gear up for another winter in Toronto.
Prior to the onset of a storm, Transportation Services will be applying a layer of salt brine to hills and bridges throughout the city. The application of salt brine is intended to prevent the snow from bonding to the pavement and to make it easier to plow the snow to the side of the road.
As soon as the snow begins, Transportation Services sends out its fleet of salt trucks to the expressways and main roads. Local roads and laneways are salted soon after this. When two centimeters of snow has accumulated then plowing will begin on the expressways and, when five centimeters has accumulated, plowing will begin on the main roads. Plowing on the expressways and main roads will continue until the operation is complete.
When the snow stops and if the snow accumulation reaches eight centimeters, local road plowing will begin. Plowing on the local roads is usually completed between 14-16 hours after the snow stops falling. During this time, snow service requests will not be taken by 311. Residents are also asked not to call 311 during the storm to ask when their street will be plowed. Residents should call 311 to report urgent winter related calls only.
After clearing ice and snow from some bike lanes as part of a pilot project for the past three years, the City has identified a priority network of bike lanes and cycle tracks in the downtown core that will receive enhanced winter maintenance this winter, including snow plowing and salting to improve safety for cyclists.
The City will only open driveway windrows wherever it is mechanically possible to do so after eight centimeters of snow has fallen. Typically, driveway windrows are opened between one and two hours of the road being plowed. The service is meant to only open up a width of about three metres – not the full width of the driveway.
The City will clear snow from sidewalks on roads with high pedestrian traffic and on bus routes where it is mechanically possible to do so after two centimetres of snow has fallen and the remaining roads after eight centimetres have fallen. In the central core of the city, property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow 12 hours after a storm has taken place. To learn more about sidewalk snow clearing in Toronto and to view a map of the areas where the service is provided, click on http://www.toronto.ca/transportation/snow/sidewalks
If you need more information about the city’s plans for snow clearing, visit toronto.ca/transportation.
And, the City of Toronto has created a webpage that enables residents to see the location of city plows, sidewalk plows and salt trucks and when their street was serviced by the city’s winter operations crews.
The new webpage uses Global Positioning Systems (GPS) installed on plows and salt trucks to determine when a road was serviced by crews, by using a colour coded system. If a road was serviced within the last four hours, then the road is shown with a green line. If a road was serviced within the last four to 12 hours, the road will be shown with a blue line and if serviced between 12 -24 hours, then the colour would be red.
The webpage can be accessed at toronto.ca/plowTO.
Here’s an important tip about shoveling snow. Please don’t push snow back onto the road. It’s against the law, hampers snow clearing efforts and is very dangerous for motorists.
Winter, and the snow that comes with it, is a part of what makes us Canadians. By working together, we can make sure that Toronto continues to be a safe and accessible city in which to live, work and play.