Column: Jan. 8, 2015

Snow clearing maintenance standards

When a snowstorm begins, City crews clear snow on high priority roads, main arterials and collectors first and then move to the residential roads. The City has developed maintenance standards and they are used to prioritize how frequently roads are plowed, how ice is controlled and how snow is removed. City crews plow residential roads to a snow-packed surface. When necessary, materials will be applied to keep roads safe.

All high priority roads and arterials (like Carp, Dunrobin and March Roads) will start being cleared as accumulation begins to the treatment standard of bare pavement within 2 to 3 hours. The time to clear snow from residential roads (like Charlie’s Lane where I live) starts when there is snow accumulation of 7 cm or more and will be cleared within 10 hours from the end of snow accumulation to a treatment standard of snow packed.

With approximately 882 km of roads in West Carleton-March, City crews cannot possibly plow all our roads at the same time. The maintenance standards in place work well and keep residents and vehicles moving in the most efficient way possible. More information on snow clearing standards are posted on ottawa.ca.

Stay safe on the Snowmobile Trails

Every year we hear stories of snowmobile accidents and mishaps that could have been prevented. The Ottawa Police note that snowmobiling fatalities often involve alcohol, unsafe ice, excessive speed and riding outside trails and rider abilities.

Accidents are preventable if safety precautions are followed. Machines should be carefully checked before heading out and riders should have the required permits and insurance. Proper gear should be worn, including an approved helmet. Snowmobilers should stay on approved trails and keep within the speed limits posted. Make sure to carry a cell phone if possible. Riders travelling across ice should also wear a floatation device or a floater suit.

Pedestrians and snowmobilers alike need to be respectful of each other. Snowmobilers should slow down when passing pedestrians. Pedestrians should move off to the side of the trail to allow snowmobiles to pass by safely. As well, dogs must be leashed at all times while on the trails.

Thanks to the West Carleton Snowmobile Trails Association (www.wcstai.com) for maintaining our trails for everyone’s enjoyment.