Street priority & map
For the purposes of snow clearing, Winnipeg’s street system is classified in three categories – Priority 1 (P1), Priority 2 (P2), and Priority 3 (P3). At some times, certain streets may be plowed on an accelerated basis for any number of reasons. The following (abridged) text describes general guidelines from and some exceptions to the Policy on Snow Clearing & Ice Control.
Learn more about snow routes
Street priority map
Priority 1 (P1)
Includes all regional streets (major routes) and, as of 2019, priority active transportation routes.
P1 streets are normally maintained to bare pavement over the full pavement width. Generally, accumulations of more than 3 cm are removed through the use of de-icing chemicals and/or by plowing. Streets are plowed on a continuous basis until complete, preferably at night to minimize potential conflict with traffic and parked vehicles. Plowing operations should be completed within 36 hours of the end of an average storm.
As of 2019, the P1 classification also includes streets reclassified as P2AT and P3AT priority active transportation routes. These routes won’t necessarily receive the same service as standard P1 streets, but will be cleared at the same times as a P1 plow.
Learn more about level of service for the new priority active transportation routes.
If extreme snowfall events make 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 should still be removed as expected.
Priority 2 (P2)
Includes non-regional bus routes and collector streets based on traffic counts; some streets in industrial areas are exceptions to the standard.
P2 streets are normally plowed to bare pavement over the full pavement width. Minor snowfall accumulations may result in a layer of compacted snow on the street surface between all-out plowing operations. A plowing operation will normally be initiated when the snow accumulates deeper than 5 cm.
P2 streets should be plowed on a continuous basis until completed. During a major storm, advanced priority for plowing is given to bus routes. Plowing operations should be completed within 36 hours of the end of an average storm. In extreme snowfall events, specified time limits may be extended.
Priority 3 (P3)
P3 streets are normally maintained to a compacted snow surface as opposed to bare pavement. However, P3 streets are plowed to the pavement surface whenever conditions allow it. Plowing on P3 streets begins after an inspection warrants a clearing operation, usually following a 10 cm snowfall accumulation or equivalent local drifting conditions.
Plowing operations should be completed within a period of 2.5 days (or five 12-hour shifts). Work on weekends and holidays will be limited if streets are passable.
During a major storm, the P1 and P2 streets will be brought to a satisfactory condition before any P3 operation begins.
We may initiate a full non-storm related plow on P3 streets if an assessment shows deep ruts or a major difference in depth of compacted snow and ice between parking and traffic lanes. Residential maintenance plowing operations usually occur in February, depending on weather conditions.
Back lanes are given an accelerated priority for accessibility reasons and to accommodate garbage and recycling collection. Back lanes are normally maintained to a compacted snow surface as opposed to bare pavement. Plowing of back lanes occurs after an inspection warrants a clearing operation, usually following a 5 cm snowfall accumulation or equivalent local drifting conditions. Back lanes should be plowed within three days of the end of an average storm.
Generally, back lane plowing should be undertaken concurrently with P1 and P2 streets. During extended periods of mild weather, it may be necessary to undertake additional plowing of back lanes, where specifically warranted, to reduce rutting.
Learn more about street priority
View the snow clearing status map