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.
  • 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.

  • 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?

    Owners and occupiers of property are asked to 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. Sand is used for improved traction when ice has formed on the roads.

  • 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. 

  • 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.  Windrowing also helps keep parking open and improves drainage.

  • 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 equipment includes three snow plow trucks as well as a snow clearing machine used for commuter trails, sidewalks and safe routes to school.

  • 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

  • Luke Dec 14, 2022, 6:52 PM (46 days ago)

    Corridor trail from Finch Drive to Mamquam Rd all this week has been like an ice rink on my commute at 7am. Only on my way home this evening at 5pm did I see it had been salted from Finch Drive to Centennial Way but going over the Mamquam bridge along the corridor trail to Mamquam Rd there were no salt on the paths.

    It would also be great if the bike paths on the side of the roads are cleared. I'm being forced to use the main road a lot of the time. Which isn't safe for us cyclists, especially when there are inpatient wreck less truck drivers out there .

  • Carl Halvorson Oct 30, 2022, 8:10 AM (3 months ago)

    What is being done to keep the Corridor Trail open where Highways plows dump "their" snow onto it? Large sections of the Corridor Trail which "is used as an active transportation commuter route and safe route to school" are impassible a significant part of the winter. The sidewalk and Corridor Trail all the way from the Adventure Centre south across the Mamquam Blind Channel past the narrow pinch point, the section across the Mamquam Bridge and along the Highway to the dike access, the section from Mamquam Road and 100 m past Garibaldi Way are all covered by snow and ice by Highway snow removal - and never removed in any kind of timely manner. It often takes days to just get the crosswalks and refuge islands passable - and rarely are these cleared enough for anything other than single file pedestrians...

    • Communications Nov 30, 2022, 11:34 AM (60 days ago)

      Thanks Carl. A second trails machine has been added to our fleet will help crews respond faster, however the pinch point you mention and street lights continue to be a challenge. The bridge belongs to the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure (MOTI) and we are not allowed to plow it. The responsibility is with the MOTI contractor.

  • Peter Jan 17, 2022, 8:15 PM (13 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 (13 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 (13 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 (13 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 (16 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 (15 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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