Thank you Guelph taxpayers.
We are very fortunate in Guelph that taxpayers fund a service to clear snow from sidewalks. Not all municipalities have this service. There are approximately 657 kilometres of sidewalk in our city.
- Two-hundred and thirty-seven (237) km are considered high priority. They are cleared when 4 cm of snow accumulates and within 24 hours of the end of a storm.
- Eighty-five (85) km of sidewalk are considered medium priority. They are cleared when 4 cm of snow accumulates and within two days of the end of a storm.
- Three hundred and thirty-five (335) km are cleared when 10 cm of snow accumulates and within four to five days of the end of a storm.
All sidewalks are currently being maintained to these standards. A few years ago we surveyed residents, and 73% of residents were satisfied with the current sidewalk snow removal service.
So why aren’t our sidewalks completely cleared of snow and ice by the City?
The service we can provide has limitations. We can do the heavy lifting with our machines but cannot deliver the same standard as manually shovelling sidewalks.
We also work to thresholds (i.e. when 4 cm or 10 cm of snow has accumulated depending on the priority of the street). So we don’t deploy our people and equipment with every snow fall.
When ice forms, it is difficult for our equipment to remove it. I had to take a shovel to my sidewalk to chip away at the ice. Sand and salt aren’t as effective on sidewalks as they are on roads where vehicle traffic works with the sand to clear the snow and ice.
The recent combination of ice and snow storms coupled with low temperatures has created ice conditions on our sidewalks that will need a sustained thaw by Mother Nature to deal with.
Make a Difference
So we ask that you be a good neighbour and shovel your sidewalk and clear the ice as best you can. During a heavy snowfall it can take the City up to five days to plow all of the sidewalks. Clearing the ice and snow from the sidewalk in front of your home or business will make it safer for everyone. Keeping sidewalks free of snow and ice is important for everyone’s safety, particularly the elderly, children and people with disabilities. Be a good neighbour and help clear snow and ice for seniors and for those with special needs.
“Be nice, treat the ice!” Sand is available free of charge at 50 Municipal Street.
We are also very fortunate to be able to partner with the Volunteer Centre on the coordination of the Snow Angels program. This program matches volunteers with people who need assistance clearing snow. Guelph is known nationally for our volunteerism and this program is a great example of that in action.