With the first snowfall of the season cities in the area are bracing themselves for the white, wintery months ahead. Each year it seems as though citizens and businesses alike forget how to prepare for the snow — sidewalks go unswept and car tires spin and squeal along the icy roads outside our house. The job of removing snow and clearing traversable passages for pedestrians and vehicles alike is not solely the responsibility of the city.
Here’s how you can do your part, as advised by the City of Vancouver:
City of Vancouver – Public Responsibility
Shovelling snow: All Vancouver property owners and occupants are responsible for clearing snow and ice from the full width of sidewalks that surround their property by 10 am on the morning following a snowfall, seven days a week. This responsibility is detailed under Section 76 of the “Streets and Traffic Bylaw” No. 2849.
Property owners and occupants who fail to remove snow and ice, as required by the by-law, may be fined, or the City may, without further notice, clear the snow or ice from the sidewalk and bill the owners or occupants for the costs incurred. This charge may include labour and materials as well as any administration, fringe benefits and overhead costs.
Help others: The City encourages everyone to clear their sidewalks and help others who can’t. Please make arrangements for someone to clear your sidewalk of snow and ice if you are away or are unable to clear it yourself.
Helpful hints and safety tips: If the storm is over, the City has plowed, and snow begins to melt, please clear the snow around the catch basin in the gutter fronting your property. This will help the melt water runoff into the storm sewer system, and reduce flooding problems.
Helpful hints and safety tips: Warm-up and stretch before shoveling. Choose a snow shovel that is right for you. Push the snow instead of lifting.
Helpful hints and safety tips: If your car is on a major street, move it (if possible) to a side street. This will help City staff in plowing major arterial streets more effectively.
Read more on the City of Vancouver website…
Other Cities, Snow Preparedness
The City of Surrey has a Snow & Ice problem hotline that you can call or email.
The City of New Westminster has its Snow Removal & Emergency WeatherManagement information online.
The City of Burnaby has outlined roles of the public, community, and the City on their website when it comes to Snow & Ice Control.
The City of Richmond has an online Weather Readiness Overview.
The City of North Vancouver has an online resource for Snow Preparedness & Clearing.
The District of North Vancouver has Snow & Ice Removal tips online along with emergency resources.
Things will be warming up towards the end of the week so we can think of this first snowfall as a practice run for now. Please feel free to reference these tips in the future or visit your city’s official website to read about their winter weather plans.