Streets designated as "priority" are cleared first, then crews take care of the remainder of the streets.
The city is divided into 62 areas or "beats." Each beat is made up of a street list starting with the priority roads. Priority roads carry the higher volumes of traffic and are most easily identified as main (arterial) roads or secondary collector roads. These are the roads people use to get to business areas, hospitals and in and out of the city. Bus routes are also considered in the first round of snow removal. The "other" roads are primarily residential or secondary routes and these are systematically plowed after the "priority" routes are completed.
Most beats are assigned one snow clearing unit, but in the case of the core area or multi-lane roads more units are provided. The multi-lane roads require two or three trucks to work in tandem to avoid leaving dangerous ridges of snow between lanes. Crews have a detailed list of streets in their "beat" to help ensure that all are cleared.
Cul-de-sacs are plowed during the local street plowing process. Occasionally regular plow equipment cannot handle the snow conditions and other plow equipment may be required. Heavier snow accumulations can cause delays to cul-de-sac plowing.
London follows the provincially prescribed standards for winter maintenance (Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways, O. Reg. 239/02). Roads are categorized into five main classes. Class 1, 2 and 3 or priority roads, which include arterial and some secondary collectors, take first priority. Classes 4 and 5, which include local streets and cul-de-sacs, have less priority.
Salt use is kept to a minimum. It is spread only on main roads and occurs at the beginning of a snowfall to establish a melting point to help keep streets clear. The sand mixture used on the local streets is 90 percent sand and 10 percent salt.
The City of London uses modern technology in the application of this material and keeps up-to-date on new developments. Salt reducing measures are implemented as appropriate to London's needs. As well, Operations staff routinely examine information on alternative de-icing and anti-icing technologies. Our goal is to be proactive in this area recognizing that the safety of city streets during slippery conditions must not be jeopardized by the use of alternative products.
Sand is used on snow packed local streets at intersections, curves and hills. We typically don't sand the entire street.
Sidewalks receive spot sanding during icy and slippery conditions, but the entire sidewalk is not typically sanded.
The City provides a sidewalk snow removal service using mechanical equipment.
Sidewalks are cleared to a snow packed condition, but the equipment does not
allow for clearing down to the bare pavement.
When the amount of snow is so great that plowing is no longer effective, blower attachments are often used. This method takes longer and costs more.
In the downtown core the merchants are required to clear the sidewalk fronting their business.
The City provides this service for the London Transit Commission (LTC). Removal of snow from bus stops frequently requires special plow attachments so this work is done after the sidewalks are cleared.
The City will clear the typical walkway between two houses up to the school property if the school will continue clearing the path on their property. Walkways within parks or leading to parks are closed for the winter and are not part of our sidewalk clearing plan.
Owners and/or occupants of residential and business properties are responsible for keeping driveways clear down to the street. Because street plowing operations push snow from the road to the boulevard, this does fill in driveways. Unfortunately, the City does not have the resources to come back to remove snow left by its plows at the end of driveways.
Sod damage is the result of two factors:
Once a path is cleared, subsequent trips by the sidewalk plow are made easier. If the sod was damaged during the first pass of the season then the damage may not be discovered until the snow melts. The cost to repair sod damage is relatively minor because we have found that homeowners will repair the damage in front of their property before the City crews arrive. This is a tremendous help because City staff typically don't repair sod damage until the seasonal work force arrives in May.
Under the Highway Traffic Act and the City of London Streets By-law, placing snow or ice on a roadway is prohibited.
Unfortunately, snow removal services for seniors and individuals with disabilities are not available from City crews. You may be able to get assistance from a family member, a friend or a neighbour. Many local community groups and churches have volunteers who will lend a helping hand. There are also a number of private snow clearing firms who provide this service. Check the Yellow Pages for listings.
Every attempt is made to keep snow banks at corners to a minimum. Special concerns should be directed to a Customer Service Representative at 519-661-4570.
Call 519-661-4570 if you need help repairing it.
A cleared street is one where the plow has been through once, regardless of whether there is a 'snowpack' left on the street. In other words, the street will not necessarily be totally bare of snow and showing asphalt.
If a plow has been down your street, you will see 'wind row' - otherwise known as snowbanks.
Sidewalk plows, because of the way they operate, will often leave sidewalks with a layer of 'snowpack'.
Residents living on corner lots or the first on the right of an intersection usually get more snow deposited in their driveways. When the snowplow turns right it sweeps a much larger area of the road than when it is traveling in a straight line, as well, the snow also does not discharge from the plow truck. Turning right effectively makes the plow push most of the snow ahead instead of moving it from the centre of the road to the side. The first property and driveway encountered after the plow straightens out usually gets more snow than others in the immediate area.