Snow Clearing FAQ

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Snow Clearing FAQ

  • What are the District’s snow clearing priorities?

    Snow clearing routes are based on several considerations such as:

    First Priority Routes:

    • Arterial roads, major collector roads, bus routes, police station, fire stations, ambulance stations, hills and safe routes to school are the District’s priority routes.

    Second Priority Routes:

    • Business areas and civic buildings.

    Third Priority Routes:

    • Residential streets beginning with main roads and problem locations.
  • Can I rely on transit when it’s snowing?

    Yes! Transit routes and bus shelters are snow clearing priorities making transit one of the more reliable methods of transportation during a snow event. Please visit the Squamish Transit website for up to date schedules and information, and use NextRide to check the location of your bus in real time. 

  • Can I park on the street while snow clearing is taking place?

    Parked vehicles are dangerous to snow plow drivers and can slow down the snow removal process. Please help our crews by keeping parked vehicles off of the street whenever possible.

  • Who is responsible for shoveling sidewalks?

    The District’s Frontage and Sidewalk Maintenance Bylaw requires all owners and occupiers to clear snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to their property. The District clears sidewalk letdowns for accessibility as well as sidewalks adjacent to District property, bus shelters and vacant Crown property.

  • Where should I place my garbage/recycling/organics totes for pickup?

    Please place your totes on your driveway instead of the road to help keep the snow removal process running smoothly. The arms of the GFL collection truck can extend up to 12 feet.

  • Where can I find snow clearing updates?

    During a snow event, operations updates are posted on the District’s Facebook page and website at squamish.ca.

  • Does the District apply sand or salt to its roads?

    Yes, the District pre-treats the roads using salt or salt brine, a liquid salt and water solution, to anticipate freezing levels and prevent snow from accumulating on the roads. This allows crews to stay ahead of the storm, use less product and help keep the roads clear. The material used is based on current and forecasted weather conditions.

  • What is ‘widening out’?

    ‘Widening out’ roads is when the snow is pushed back to the ditch and catch basins to allow for drainage. We understand that this can be frustrating for residents, especially those who have worked hard to clear their driveways, as driveways may get filled. Snow clearing crews do their best to remove windrows (piles of snow left at the bottom of a driveway) but it’s not always possible. 

  • What is centerline windrowing?

    Windrowing is the plowing of snow on to the middle of the street. This work is typically done in Downtown Squamish on roads where it’s not possible to push snow to one side.

  • Who can I call if my road hasn’t been cleared?

    To report a road that has not been cleared please call Operations at 604.815.6868. To report a sidewalk that hasn’t been cleared please call Bylaw at 604.815.5067.

  • Is the Corridor Trail a priority route?

    Yes. More than 90% of the Corridor Trail is used as an active transportation commuter route and safe route to school as it provides access to multiple schools. Safe routes to schools are considered first priority for snow removal.

  • What snow removal equipment is used?

    The District of Squamish owns three snow plow trucks as well as a snow clearing machine used for commuter trails, sidewalks and safe routes to school.

  • Why hasn’t my road been cleared?

    Snow clearing is performed on a priority route basis and sometimes these routes need to be cleared multiple times before crews can begin snow removal on second and third priority routes. If you live on a residential street it may take some time before a crew is able to plow your street. Our crews provide 24-hour service during heavy snowfall and extreme cold.

  • Why did you fill in my driveway?

    District crews widen the roads to clear storm drains, prevent flooding and ensure there is enough room for snow storage from additional snowfalls. During this process driveways may get filled in. This can be avoided by piling snow to the right side of your driveway, when facing the road, to prevent it from being pushed back onto your driveway by snow plows.

  • Why are you clearing bike lanes and not sidewalks?

    Widening the roads is done in order to clear storm drains which are often in bike lanes.

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Comments

  • Peter Jan 17, 2022, 8:15 PM (8 months ago)

    It is unbelievable that a week later the secondary streets in Valleycliffe still are not plowed. The snow/ice is soft enough that it can be easily taken care of. Hospital Hill has all its streets completely clear and they have less than half of the houses of Valleycliffe. Our property taxes are increasing yet again but the basics can't even be taken care of.

  • Lindsay Jan 13, 2022, 1:56 PM (9 months ago)

    The level of snow blocking the streets and sidewalks weeks after a heavy snow is embarrassing for squamish as a community. Citizens are completely unable to even use sidewalks to get to work/anywhere else for that matter. It is extremely dangerous and upsetting

  • Braedon Jan 10, 2022, 11:14 AM (9 months ago)

    Hello,

    Are there any by-laws for snow clearing from roofs that may abut / or fall onto sidewalks or roadways? Or any by-laws for warning of potential snow/ice falling from a roof?

    Thank you

    • Communications Jan 10, 2022, 3:03 PM (9 months ago)

      Thanks Braedon. We do not have a bylaw that covers clearing snow/ice from roofs, however property owners are responsible to clear snow/ice from sidewalks.

  • Eho Oct 20, 2021, 3:20 PM (11 months ago)

    Does snow and ice removal need to happen by a certain time each day? If snow continues to fall is there a requirement that we keep the walk ways clear at all times? Or is there an expected frequency?

    • Communications Oct 26, 2021, 3:01 PM (11 months ago)

      Thanks Eho. Snow removal details are outlined in Section 4 of the Frontage and Sidewalk Bylaw:

      4. Sidewalk Snow and Ice Removal
      4.1.Every owner, occupier or tenant of real property shall remove or cause the removal of snow and ice from sidewalks abutting the property within 12 hours of the cessation of the event which resulted in the deposit of snow or ice, regardless of whether the snow or ice was deposited on the sidewalk by natural, human, mechanical or other means. Such snow and ice is not to be deposited in an area that would impede drainage or vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

      4.2.Notwithstanding Section 4.1 of this Bylaw, where the accumulation of snow and ice on a sidewalk creates a hazardous condition the owner or occupier of the real property on which the sidewalk is adjoined by shall immediately remove the accumulation of snow or ice.

      4.3.Snow collected on private property shall be stored within the private property envelope. No owner, occupier or tenant of real property shall deposit snow originating from private property

      Hope this was helpful.

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