Winter Snow Removal

January 12, 2011


So I made a number of recent posts describing winter control – probably too many but there seems to be an interest in the details. We had a storm last night – not a major one –  but here is how we are responding as an illustration of how it works and the application of all the standards and maps that I  provided previously:

Snow began falling last night as part of two storm systems -one approaching from the South East and one from the West.

Snow accumulation amounts received to this point vary in the area of 6 to 7 cm. We do not anticipate any further accumulations from this storm event. 

Based on this accumulation (less than 8cm, threshold approved by Council) a full residential road plow-out is not being contemplated at this time.

ROADS – Roads crews are still working on the main arterials (Salt Routes) and collector roads, (Secondary Salt Routes). Road crews will transition into the residential roads once the mains and arterials are complete to apply traction materials to all areas requiring treatment.


Sidewalk crews are currently out on the high pedestrian arterial, collector and bus routes. This task will take approx 12 hours to complete. Residential sidewalk plowing requirements will be assessed later this morning as we have had previous accumulation there and this added depth may have exceeded the 8cm threshold for that activity. The sidewalk plowing activity will continue non-stop around the clock until completed. The downtown sidewalks have been serviced as well, as a rule, our goal is to have them plowed and treated with materials as required before businesses open at 9:00am. 

Clearing and sanding of all pedestrian cross walks and PXO’s will begin once sidewalk plowing activity is complete. Bus stops will be cleared simultaneously with the sidewalk operation. All city owned steps are currently being cleared and treated with materials and will be cleared again as required if additional accumulation is realized.

FACILITIES – All city owned facility parking lots, access roads and entrance ways are being worked on and are progressing on schedule. Completion is expected by noon today. Additional service will be provided as conditions warrant.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

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3 Comments on “Winter Snow Removal”

  1. Marc LeBlanc Says:

    A Guelph snow removal/salt truck just drove on Sanderson Dr at 5:40pm spreading salt/sand and didn’t plow the street?
    I know you’re going by the guidelines of 8cm of snow. As a cost perspective and operation point of view, wouldn’t be safer and more cost effective to plow the snow and add the salt after? Salt/sand is not effective on 6-7cm of slushy and compacted snow. This is creating a bigger “mess” on our streets. Plus you’re already paying the driver and truck ,,, yes, it might take a few more man hours but the end result would be cleaner and safer streets.

    I just moved here from Moncton NB and this is the worst snow removal i’ve seen in my life.


  2. Steven Betteley Says:

    Here here Marc

  3. kfarbridge Says:

    And here is the response for Marc LeBlanc for others to read:

    As you already know, we follow the Municipal Act, Ontario Minimum Maintenance Standards Reg 239/02 in the delivery of winter control services to the Guelph community. Residential Streets are considered class 5.

    A link to the specification is attached for your reference.

    In answer to your question as to why not plow the road since we are already there, the reason is as follows;

    In order to plow a road a minimum of two passes needs to be made to clear the pavement curb to curb, (one in each direction). A third pass would then be required in order to place material where it is required. This procedure would take additional time and effort and would be contrary to our approved level of service authorized by council as set out in the above regulation.

    I hope this answers your question.

    In closing I would like to add that should your street require any additional attention, due to drifting, ice, etc, you may contact the Operations Department directly at 519-837-5628 or (as you have done) and our winter control staff will follow up on your concern.

    Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

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