Changes to Lacombe's Snow Clearing Policy aim to improve service levels

By Sheldon Spackman
June 28, 2018 - 4:01pm

Higher levels of snow removal service could be seen in certain sections of Lacombe next winter thanks to changes made to the City’s Snow Clearing Policy this week.

The changes pertain to public roads, sidewalks and trails and include adding a new Priority 2 road as the lane on the south side of the Lacombe Senior Citizens Lodge from C & E Trail to 58th Street and increasing the priority of downtown core lanes from Priority 3 to Priority 2.

Other changes include snow removal operations being able to occur anytime during scheduled work shifts, not just ‘early morning’, areas identified for snow clearing will have snow windrows on the side of the road and areas identified for snow removal will have snow hauled off-site.

Wolf Creek Drive from Highway 2A to Highway 12 will change from a Priority 3 to a Priority 2 as it is an emergency access route for the Lacombe Police Service.

Telford Crescent from C & E Trail to the lane will increase in priority due to the traffic and pedestrian volumes present on the road during the school year.

Snow clearing operations on Priority 3 roads will now commence from 12cm snowfall accumulation to 12cm of snowpack.

Currently, Parks staff clear snow and ice from sidewalks under municipal ownership within 48 hours after the conclusion of the last snowfall. Property owners are responsible for those sidewalks abutting their property. Current service levels for clearing trails take place Monday to Friday, exclude statutory holidays, and are limited to asphalt covered areas.  

 “Staffing and equipment resources for the Parks department have not increased in recent years,” said Community Services Director Brenda Vaughan in a press release. “This, coupled with the addition of new infrastructure, has led to rare occasions where the City did not meet the requirement for snow removal from all city sidewalks and trails. Proposed changes to sidewalk and trail clearing service levels will be presented for Council’s review during 2019 budget deliberations.”

In terms of enforcement, Enforcement Services had no changes to its enforcement levels regarding the removal of snow from sidewalks. The City issued 55 tickets during the 2017/2018 winter season and officials say this figure is line with previous year’s enforcement. 

Director of Planning and Operations Jordan Thompson adds that a review of the City’s Nuisance Bylaw with respect to snow clearing and snow removal will begin later this year, in conjunction with other areas of the bylaw identified by Council.

With respect to public notification, the City will continue to use its social media channels as the primary method to advise citizens of planned snow clearing and enforcement activities. Advertisements are also placed with local media outlets, on the back of City utility bills and have letters delivered to each residence fronting a sidewalk that will be covered by a windrow.

Finally, onsite signage is placed along the streets at least 12 hours in advance of snow clearing operations.

48 Avenue construction starts Tuesday

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