Snow Clearing Updates
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Prince George's snow clearing operations maintain roads and sidewalks throughout winter. Examples of what the City maintains include:
- Roads, laneways, sidewalks, and trails.
- Civic facility and parks parking lots and entrances.
Route priorities are determined by a number of factors including traffic volumes. Council's 2019 Snow and Ice Control Policy categorises the City's 735km of roads and 200km of sidewalks into three snow-clearing priority routes:
PRIORITY ONE ROUTES (RED)
- Arterial roads and curb-adjacent sidewalks.
- Downtown Central Business District roads, laneways, and sidewalks.
- The Hospital District.
- Major facility entrances, pedestrian surfaces, and daily parking areas.
- City off-street parking.
PRIORITY TWO ROUTES (GREEN)
- Collector roads and curb-adjacent sidewalks.
- Priority hills.
- Commercial and industrial zoning roads, laneways, and curb-adjacent sidewalks.
- Transit bus routes that are not in Priority One routes.
- Transit bus stops along Priority One routes.
PRIORITY THREE ROUTES (GREY)
- Residential roads, laneways, and designated sidewalks.
- Lanes may be closed if impractical to plow.
- Minor facility entrances, pedestrian surfaces, and parking areas.
- Major park pathways, trails, and parking lots.
- Event parking areas (unless a major event is imminent, then priority is raised to clear before the event starts).
Priority Snow Clearing Routes and Snow Events
Watch a short video about the City's priority snow clearing routes and what happens during a snow event.
Priority Routes During a Snow Event
A "snow event" happens when at least 7.5cm of snow accumulates over a 24 hour period. If a snow event is announced, the City will mobilize its snow fleet together with contracted equipment to meet service requirements outlined in
Council's 2019 Snow and Ice Control Policy.
If at least 7.5cm of snow falls in 24 hours:
The City aims to clear Priority One (Red) and Priority Two (Green) routes within 48 hours after snowfall ends.
If at least 12cm of snow falls in 24 hours:
The City aims to clear Priority Three (Grey) routes within 72 hours after Priority One (Red) and Priority Two (Green) have been completed.
Heavy Snow Fall Declaration
A heavy snow fall declaration is issued when at least 20cm snow accumulates in a 24 hour period.
- During a heavy snow fall declaration, nighttime snow clearing and removal in Downtown Central Business District Priority One and Priority Two areas will start an hour earlier (11:00pm instead of 12:00am).
- Snow removal completion times will also be extended by 24 hours for each additional 8cm of snow (on top of the initial 20cm).
Snow and Ice Control Equipment
- Typically plows 5-10km per hour and requires loaders to follow to clear intersections and open driveways.
- Graders can apply downward pressure to help remove compact snow and ice and can push larger volumes of snow.
- Loaders are used to clear intersections and open driveways and bus stops.
- Sidewalk machines clear snow and apply traction material on sidewalks.
- Once plowing is done, sidewalk machines continue to monitor routes and apply traction material to keep sidewalks in a reasonable condition for pedestrians wearing appropriate winter footwear.
- Trucks are used to apply rock salt and traction material to improve winter driving conditions.
- Trucks can also plow on typically non-curb and gutter roads at speeds of up to 30-50km per hour.
- Roads that are plowed by trucks do not receive driveway opening following the trucks plow.
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Normal Winter Operations
In addition to clearing routes, normal operations through the winter may include:
- Gravel road grading
- Vegetation control (slashing, grubbing, chipping overgrown road right-of-ways)
- Pothole maintenance
- Normal snow and ice control
- Snow windrow road widening, ditch maintenance, and exposing drainage catch basins in curb and gutter areas to accommodate melt cycles.
- Off-loading of cul-de-sacs and areas prone to flooding.
- Expose/off-load curb and gutter areas within the Bowl to expedite winter sand pick-up.
Winter Traction Material (Winter Crush and Winter Sand)
- Normally applied to road intersections, stops, hills and bends, and pedestrian surfaces in Priority One and Priority Two areas when ice forms. May be applied to Priority Three areas if conditions on the ground warrant it.
- Selectively used to improve traction roads and pedestrian surfaces.
Anti-Icing (Liquid Salt)
- May be applied to Priority One and Priority Two roads and parking lots before a snow fall to limit the amount of snow accumulating on a surface.
- Selectively used up to 24 hours before a Priority One snow event.
Pre-Wetting (Liquid Salt)
- Liquid salt is applied to all winter traction materials before the materials are spread on road and pedestrian surfaces.
- Applied any time winter traction materials are used.
Road Salt (Rock Salt)
- Used immediately following snow removal from Priority One and Priority Two areas when surface temperatures are above -7 degrees Celsius.
To accommodate snow storage in residential neighbourhoods, driveways will be opened to a maximum of 8 metres.
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Parking restrictions are in place from
October 15 to April 15 of each year to help with snow and ice control operations:
Priority Ones and the Hospital District - On-street parking is prohibited from 10:00pm to 7:00am.
Downtown - On-street parking is prohibited from 12:00am to 7:00am.
Residential Areas - On-street parking is prohibited from 8:00am to 6:00pm. Parking on the side of the street with odd house numbers is permitted from 6:00pm to 8:00am unless otherwise posted.
Illegally parked vehicles are subject to a $50 ticket per offence and/or may be towed.
For more information:
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Questions and Answers
Where can I get snow clearing updates?
Check local media for snow operations news and follow the City of Prince George on Facebook or Twitter, or subscribe to City News and Events to stay up to date.
Subscribe for Snow Clearing Updates
Be sure to select the, "Roads (Snow Clearing, Sweeping, Paving, and Load Restrictions)" checkbox under the "Notices" header to receive the latest news and updates.
Why do the plows go so fast?
Plows do have to go a minimum speed in order to throw the snow off to the side. The City asks its drivers not to drive faster than necessary. In some cases however, shrubs, fences, walkways and driveways close to the curb cannot avoid getting snow on them.
Why don't you eliminate the use of salt?
Salt is an effective tool for improving winter roadway conditions and safety. The City mixes salt with winter traction materials at a concentration of two (2) per cent to prevent stockpiles from freezing and to allow for even distribution by plow trucks.
Direct salt (100 per cent salt) applications onto surfaces are only used when necessary and if conditions allow. The City has a plan to help with salt management strategies.
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How are snow clearing routes determined?
Snow clearing routes are based on a colour-coded priority system factors in considerations like garbage collection days and the amount of snowfall over a 24-hour period.
How do I make sure that my property improvements don't get damaged by snow plows and graders?
Street allowances in residential areas are normally 20 metres wide with a 10-metre road surface within this road allowance. In curbed areas, this leaves 5 metres (16 feet) on each side of the road as City Boulevard. Approval from the City is required prior to making improvements to boulevard areas. Please contact the Roads Division at 250-561-7600 for more information.
How does the City control snow clearing costs?
The annual snow budget is approved by Council and the City attempts to keep a good balance between levels of service and expenditures by continually trying to improve services without increasing costs.
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Where can I park in a residential area?
On-street parking is prohibited from
8:00am to 6:00pm in residential areas.
Parking on the side of the street with odd house numbers is permitted from
6:00pm to 8:00am unless otherwise posted.
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