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REPORTING · 30th November 2011
Walter McFarlane
Council was asked to consider the following when they took the snow clearing changes they wanted to make into account on October 11th. These recommendations paint this motion as a bad idea. Regardless, the request went through.

Considerations Regarding Allowing snow to be placed at curbside

1. Any additional snow placed in the travelled portion of the road increases the amount of snow to be removed resulting in slower and less efficient snow removal. More snow will be left behind by the blower, it will take longer to complete a route and the additional blown snow will result in the operator blowing "blind" earlier in the season due to the increased height of blown snow.

The amount of snow that could be put into the roadway from driveways is significant. The travelled portion of a standard residential road is 25 feet wide. For a typical 60 foot frontage and a 1 foot snowfall results in a volume of 1150 cu. ft. to remove from the roadway. Driveways can be up to 25 feet wide in residential areas and are generally 40 feet long. Two driveways discharging their snow into the same road surface would result in 2,000 cu. ft. of snow being pushed into the roadway. Although the actual % of snow increase would depend on lot frontage and driveway dimensions it is in the order of 2 times the amount of snow to remove.

2. Although accesses can be up to 25 feet wide current by laws allow all but 16 feet to be blown in. This is rarely done now but may be required if more snow has to be handled. with the density of blown snow it would be very difficult for homeowners to remove it without equipment. However, in reality the number of vehicles, boats and recreational vehicles stored on some lots make it impractical to fill in any of the driveway.

3. Snow piled against the curb blocks drainage when the precipitation turns to rain. In the past this has resulted in drainage going down reverse grade driveways and flooding basements but generally it just forces the water onto the travelled portion of the road instead of being collected by the next catchbasin.

4. The road width is reduced with snow piled at the curbside. As the residential roads are used by pedestrians there is less separation from any vehicles on the road at the same time. (splashing and possible accident)

5. How far from the curb can it be placed? What determines impeding traffic? How can this be effectively regulated? This would become a discretionary enforcement and difficult to implement.

6. Those that don't put snow on the road would still get the snow from their neighbour's driveway blown on to their property. Equalizing of snow is a constant concern of some.

7. If snow reaches the height where a home owner can no longer do it themselves they can hire someone to do it for them. Few residents in Kitimat are not in the position to do this.

8. Snow put in the gutter after snow stopped will not be removed, could freeze in place-resulting in damage to grader etc. when cleared. Or it could damage vehicles (private or municipal) that are forced to drive over the frozen snow.

9. Most calls received on snow in roads were by neighbours complaining of those doing it, some were about what to do when too high, few complaining about the rule (Graham Anderson's call to Mario being the exception).

10. Any changes in procedures mid-season would be contrary to the Guidelines delivered door to door and would be difficult to advise the public.

11. Some calls were received by residents who were complying with the Municipal Code but did not feel they could pile it any higher beside their driveway. Had the snow continued to accumulate it may have become necessary to find a temporary solution to this, however, in most cases residents can make their own arrangements.

12. Kitimat is perhaps unique in the level of snow removal responsibility it assumes. Fort St. John requires residents and businesses to clear snow and ice from abutting sidewalks. Although snow from these sidewalks can be placed into the roadway they will be ticketed if snow from any other areas is.

13. Last season 15 warning tickets were issued and it had a dramatic affect. Only 2 tickets were issued, those being to second offenders.

14. More residents are likely to put their snow on the road if it is permitted as this is usually easier than shovelling it to the sides of their driveway.

15. Many of the vehicles that get stuck on the road are stuck because of the extra amount of snow deposited by adjacent properties.

16. We have had graders get stuck in snow banks that were pushed out from the driveways and have needed to either be pulled or have a blower clear a path for them which involves extra costs. This is especially the case when ATV s push snow out of the driveways.

17. Also when there is a pile of snow on the street from driveway snow, many times improper clearing is done in that location because of snow spilling over the grader blade It could result in additional snow removal on the street or the street is left in a less than ideal condition in that area of snow removal operations have been completed.

Summary

Very few calls were received on this issue. The majority that were received were regarding where to put snow when it got too deep and complaints about neighbours pushing snow into the roadway.