This information is from the City of Kitchener Website:
Sidewalk Snow Shovelling
FOR INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN BE A SNOW ANGEL AND HELP OTHERS IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD CLEAR THEIR SNOW, VISIT OUR LOVE MY HOOD WEBSITE HERE
Property owners must clear the sidewalks around their property to bare pavement within 24 hours of a snowfall ending.
If you do not clear your snow and a complaint is received and a bylaw officer determines your sidewalk is not clear, you will have another 24 hours to clear it to our bare pavement standard. 95% of those who receive a notice do clear their sidewalk. If it is not cleared 24 hours after receiving the notice, the City may have a contractor clear your sidewalk and add the cost of the clearing to your property tax bill.
Pick up free sand for icy sidewalks Homeowners can pick up free sand for icy sidewalks and walkways at sandboxes located throughout the city. Please bring your own shovel and container to collect the sand. Find free sand near you by entering your address HERE
Help with shoveling These agencies that offer snow removal to seniors or anyone who cannot clear their sidewalks: Community Support Connections, 519-772-8787 The Working Centre, 519-743-1151 Contact your local high school to see if there are students who need volunteer hours and can help you through the winter.
Report snow or ice on sidewalks You can report a sidewalk that has not been shoveled by calling 519-741-2345. When we get a complaint, we send staff out to inspect the sidewalk. The homeowner will receive a notice to clear their sidewalk within 24 hours. A very high percentage of those who receive a notice to clear their sidewalk comply. If they do not clear it, a contractor will clear it and the homeowner is billed for their services When It Snows
The city does its best to quickly clear the snow and ice to reduce hazards to motorists and pedestrians and acts as soon as a storm begins. It is important to note however, that it does take between 16 - 24 hours to complete all snowplowing routes after the snow has stopped falling.
Watch a 1 minute video on How Snow Clearing Works HERE
Find What Priority Level Your Street Is , Routes And Priority Levels HERE
To sign up for free alerts for snow events click HERE
There are a number of factors including temperature, future forecasts and precipitation that determine how and when plowing, salting or sanding should take place.
Each snow plow is assigned a designated area of the city and clearing is carried out on the basis of the following priorities:
Major arterial roads;
Major collector roads and bus routes;
Local residential streets
Plowing begins when there is an accumulation of 5 cm (2 inches) of snow on major roads. City standards specify that up to 8 cm (3 1/2 inches) may be allowed to accumulate on local residential streets before plowing commences. Through several newer initiatives under our salt management program, we are also ensuring that our winter maintenance program contributes to a healthy environment for our residents. Major Winter Road Maintenance Includes:
Plowing: Plowing is carried out on all streets on the basis of assigned routes and according to snow plowing priorities
1 Major arterial roads; 2 Major collector roads and bus routes; 3 Local residential streets.
Provincial regulations state that if while crews are clearing the roads according to the Priority Level directives and another significant snowfall accumulation is received while crews are still clearing the first snowfall, the process is reset & Priority 1 roads must be cleared again, followed by Priority 2 roads then Priority 3. This can result in a delay in the plowing of Priority 3 roads.
During a snow event or storm, staff respond in the following order, as per provincial guidelines
1 Regional roads and downtown streets; 2 Major arteries and collectors, bus routes and streets with hills or dangerous curves; 3 Residential streets are only plowed when more than 8 cm or 3 ½ inches have accumulated.
Snowing Clearing Facts The City of Kitchener is responsible for winter maintenance, including plowing, sanding & salting, on more than 550 kilometres of roadway. About 574 "two-lane" kilometres are salted. About 980 "two-lane" kilometres are plowed. It takes 16-24 hours to complete all snow-plowing routes after the snow has stopped falling. Within the first 24 hours of the end of a storm, we clear all city-owned property, downtown, sidewalks and crosswalks.
Salting: Salt is applied when temperatures are above -12° C. On designated routes only, including major arterials, major collectors and bus routes. On designated hills, grades and intersections on local residential streets are salted. See our salt management program details HERE
Sanding: Sand is applied instead of salt, as outlined above, when temperatures are below -12°C. Sand is applied on other streets only under extreme ice conditions.
Anti-icing: Anti-icing is a pro-active strategy by which salt brine is applied to the road by means of a spray boom on the back of a tanker truck. It visually appears as though we are spraying water on the roadway but in reality it is preventing bond between the pavement and snow and ice. The application is predominantly applied before a snow event or frost situation.
We ask for your patience during a event/storm -- we will get to your street as soon as we can. Frequently Asked Questions about Snow Removal Q Who is responsible for snow removal at bus stops? A. The City of Kitchener is not responsible for bus stop snow removal. All inquiries should be directed to Grand River Transit at 519-585-7555.
Q. When is it okay to park on the street again after it's been plowed? A. You can park on the street as soon as it's been plowed completely to the curb in accordance with City of Kitchener By-laws. No overnight parking on city streets from December 1 to March 31.
Q. Can't the city remove snow they've put in my driveway? A. Considering the large number of driveways in the city, it is too costly and time consuming to use additional personnel and equipment to perform this service. The city doesn't have the resources available to provide that level of service.
Q. Why do plows go so fast and throw snow on my sidewalk? A. Plows must maintain a minimum speed to move snow off to the side. However, some sidewalks are very close to the curb and it is difficult to avoid getting snow on them. Please call 741-2345 to report these situations and a supervisor will assess the situation at that time.
Q. What can you do to get people to shovel their sidewalks? A. City bylaws require property owners or occupants to remove snow and ice from sidewalks. When a complaint is received staff will inspect the property and issue a notice to the resident. If the sidewalk is not cleared upon re-inspection, city staff will remove the snow and invoice the resident. To report unshovelled walks call 741-2345.
Q. Why doesn't the city plow sidewalks? A. This is not a service level we provide as it's the property owner's responsibility.
Q. I am a senior citizen; what can the city to do help me keep my sidewalk clear? A. If you cannot clear your walk due to health or mobility restrictions, there are agencies who can help. For details, call The Working Centre (Job Café) 519-743-1151 x153, or Community Support Connections 519-772-8787. Fees and eligibility requirements may apply - call for details. You can also call your local high school to see if there are students who are looking for volunteer hours, which are needed to complete their secondary school education.
Q. I'm concerned about the environment. Why don't you do more plowing and less sand and salt? A. Plowing and salting do not serve the same purpose - both are needed for large snowfalls. Sanding or salting is required if ice is present. The application of salt services 2 purposes: to prevent a bond between snow, sand and asphalt (prior to heavy snow accumulation) or break the bond if ice has already formed. The City of Kitchener is a leader in salt management reduction. i.e. anti-icing program.
Q. Why isn't sand used more often to reduce the amount of salt used? A. The properties of each are different and so each substance serves a different purpose. Sand may be applied on designated routes when temperatures are below -12°C; salt is used on designated routes including hills, grades and intersections, when temperatures are above - 12°C. Anti-icing ensures salt usage is managed to maintain safe roads.
Q. I see a lot of grass damaged by snow-clearing vehicles when the snow has melted. Will the damaged grass be fixed? A. Yes. We begin repairs to any exposed grass areas damaged by snow-clearing operations along roadways and winter-maintained trails when we are confident that the snow is done falling, usually by early April. When we repair the grass, we apply topsoil, grade and seed the damaged area.
Q. How long until the repairs will be done? A. Once we begin, it takes about six weeks to complete repairs across the city.
Q. How do I report damaged grass? A. Damaged grass can be reported to the City of Kitchener Corporate Contact Centre at 519-741-2345. Grass damage at bus stops should be reported to Grand River Transit at 519-585-7555.