City council to review Ice and Snow removal policy

City council will get a second look at the Ice and Snow Removal Control Policy at their next meeting.

At this time council will review the community’s main concerns regarding residential snow removal as well as along bus routes in the City.

“Right now we’re still gathering information but we’ve done a lot of community consultation recently,” said Councillor Chris Stephan.

Currently, when a residential street requires clearing, the City has 25 days to do so. This creates a lot of problems for communities as it makes roads impassable and is a concern for many citizens.

“In general, the community input is what we need to increase the level of snow and ice removal,” said Stephan.

The residential snow and ice removal is the primary issue that council is to look at. Residential areas are currently classified as priority five areas, which is why they are often the last areas to be plowed.

There are some exceptions to how quickly residential areas get plowed.

“We have a priority system and so areas specifically like those on steep hills or bridges become priority ones so typically you will see those plowed within a day or two before we can focus on the lower priority areas,” said Stephan.

One of the other big issues in Red Deer that was brought to City council’s attention is the use of windrows. Windrows are the mounds of snow left by the snowplows that can often block driveways if they are at the curb, or impede the flow of traffic by being piled in the centre of the road.

Council is considering whether the windrows should remain or if they should remove them.

“Windrows basically block off half of the parking and also create safety hazards in terms of people being able to drive because of blocked sightlines,” said Stephan.

The item was to be evaluated earlier in the year but has been tabled until the next council meeting which is set to take place on May 2.

“We still have the snow out there unfortunately but when we look at it the snow might be gone so people might be in a happier mood regarding snow and ice removal,” said Stephan.

Stephan said through the community consultation the City learned citizens are generally satisfied with what is being done in regards to snow and ice removal in terms of the priority one and two areas.

Council plans to address the City’s concerns about the bus routes and residential areas in their evaluation.