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Public Works

What is a Street Priority?

For the purpose of snow clearing:

For the purpose of snow clearing, the street system has been classified in three categories (PI, PII, PIII). However, for a variety of reasons, some streets designated as a particular priority may be plowed on an accelerated basis together with streets in a higher priority. The definitions listed below describe the general rule and some exceptions to the rule.

PRIORITY I STREETS:

Includes all Regional Streets (Major Routes)

PRIORITY I streets shall normally be maintained to bare pavement over the full pavement width. Generally, snow accumulating beyond a depth of 3 cm shall be removed through the use of de-icing chemicals and/or by plowing. Streets shall be plowed on a continuous basis until completed. Plowing shall be undertaken during the night as much as possible in order to minimize the problems associated with traffic and parked vehicles. The snow plowing operations shall be completed within thirty-six hours following the end of an average storm.

List of Priority 1 (Regional) and Priority 2 (Non-Regional) Snow Route Streets

During extreme snowfall events where the snowfall amount and/or accompanying severe drifting conditions makes it impractical to complete the snow clearing operations on the street system with a full complement of resources and continuous effort, the time limits specified may be extended. Excessive ice or snow build up along gutters and medians or between traffic wheel paths shall normally be removed.

PRIORITY II STREETS:

These include non-regional bus routes and collector streets based on traffic counts although some streets in industrial areas are exceptions to the standard.  

PRIORITY II streets shall normally be plowed to bare pavement over the full pavement width. However, minor snowfall accumulations and the City policy restricting the use of de-icing chemicals on Priority II streets may result in a layer of compacted snow on the street surface between all-out plowing operations. A plowing operation shall normally be initiated when the snow has accumulated beyond a depth of 5 cm.

List of Priority 1 (Regional) and Priority 2 (Non-Regional) Snow Route Streets

PII Streets shall be plowed on a continuous basis until completed. During a major storm, advanced priority for plowing shall be given to bus routes. The snow plowing operations shall be completed within thirty-six hours following the end of an average storm. During extreme snowfall events where the snowfall amount and/or accompanying severe drifting conditions makes it impractical to complete the snow clearing operations on the street system with a full complement of resources and continuous effort, the time limits specified may be extended.

PRIORITY III STREETS:

Residential streets

PRIORITY III streets shall normally be maintained to a compacted snow surface as opposed to bare pavement. However, Priority III streets shall be plowed to the pavement surface whenever conditions allow during an all-out plowing operation. Plowing on Priority III streets shall commence after an inspection warrants a clearing operation, usually following a 10 cm snowfall accumulation or equivalent local drifting conditions.

The snow plowing operations shall normally be completed within five working days following the commencement time of the plowing effort on Priority III streets. Work on weekends and holidays shall be limited if streets are passable.

During a major storm, the Priority I and II streets shall be brought to a satisfactory condition prior to work commencing on the Priority III streets.

A full non-storm related widening/spot maintenance plow on Priority III streets may be initiated as a result of an assessment of the depth of ruts and/or the difference in depth of compacted snow and ice in the parking lane of a street as compared to the traffic lane. This plowing operation will normally be initiated in February, depending on weather conditions.

BACK LANES:

For reasons of accessibility for citizens and refuse collection, back lanes are usually given an accelerated priority for plowing. Back lanes shall normally be maintained to a compacted snow surface as opposed to bare pavement. Plowing of back lanes shall commence after an inspection warrants a clearing operation, usually following a 5 cm snowfall accumulation or equivalent local drifting conditions. The snow plowing operations shall normally be completed within three days following the end of an average storm. Generally, the plowing of back lanes shall be undertaken concurrently with Priority I and II streets and prioritization may be necessary to facilitate refuse pickup. During extended periods of mild weather, it may be necessary to undertake additional plowing of back lanes, where specifically warranted, to reduce rutting.


Last update: October 25, 2017