With the winter season upon us, our City crews are out in full force addressing priority areas, and we ask that residents and businesses do their part to clear the areas in front of your home or business. Clearing snow and keeping our streets and sidewalks safe is not only the responsibility of the City Operations Department, but also the community through the City of Prince Rupert Traffic Bylaw and Snow and Ice Policy.
Have a neighbour that may not be able to do snow removal on their own driveway or sidewalk? Now is a great time to lend a neighbourly hand and be their 'Snow Angel'.
As per the policy and bylaw, see the guidelines below:
- Do not deposit snow on public roadways. Pushing or blowing snow and ice onto or across public roadways creates an unsafe situation for drivers.
- Where possible, please ensure that all Vehicles, RV’s, Boats and Trailers are stored on your property and not on the roads. This keeps the boulevards clear providing easy access for snow removal equipment. During the snow and ice control seasons, the City of Prince Rupert will not accept responsibility for damage to vehicles parked on Streets, Lanes or Boulevards.
- Stay a safe distance from the rear of a plow truck and avoid passing or driving beside a plow truck.
- Adopt a sidewalk – help make a positive contribution in your community. Residents who are able and willing may wish to lend a hand to their neighbours who are not able to clear their snow due to mobility issues.
- Sight lines – Do not pile your snow at the end of your driveway, as this may obscure your line of sight when exiting your driveway.
- Clearing Catch Basins (drainage grates) – for those seeking to do a little extra, the City requests your assistance to keep drainage grates clear of leaves, snow and other debris to avoid flooding. If flooding is noticed, please contact Public Works directly at 250.624.6795. In the interests of public safety, please do not rake or blow leaves into the street.
SNOW AND ICE CONTROL FAQ
Why does the snow plow leave a wall of snow in front of my driveway?
The operator must plow snow to the curb or right hand side of the road, and has limited control over the amount and direction of snow that comes off the blade. The plow blade is at a set position, and does not have the ability to swivel around driveways and crown of the road. When clearing your driveway, pile the snow on the right side (if you are standing in your driveway and looking towards the street). This can help reduce the amount of snow that is pushed onto your driveway when a snow plow passes.
Can the snow plow operator lift the blade at every driveway?
In order for our snow plow operators to provide the most efficient and cost effective snow removal, continuous movement is required. With hundreds of driveways in the City, it is not practical or cost efficient for operators to lift their blades at every driveway as our main goal is to safely open roads as soon as possible.
Can the snow plow trucks plow all the snow to the other side of the street where there are no sidewalks or driveways?
The snow plows are designed to plow snow to the right hand side of the road. In order to plow all the snow to one side, the equipment would have to drive on the wrong side of the road creating unsafe traffic conditions.
Can I place the snow from my driveway or parking area onto the traveled portion of the street?
To help keep sidewalks and roads safe for travel, residents must avoid pushing or blowing snow from their sidewalk or driveway into the street because it can potentially create dangerous conditions for motorists, and is unlawful under the Highway Traffic Act.
Depositing the snow back onto the roadway after a plow truck has gone by creates issues for our snow removal crews. The plow will need to make an additional run down your street to clean it up which increases City’s costs with additional staff time, fuel and equipment wear and tear, not to mention delays in getting to other areas of the City that also need to be plowed.
Can the City’s snow plow operator plow my driveway?
The City of Prince Rupert does not perform work on private property.
When will our streets be plowed or sanded?
After a snowfall the streets are prioritized based on our Winter Snow and Ice Control Policy, with first priority being emergency vehicle and public transportation routes. When snow exceeds 5 centimeters (2 inches), and when ice control is necessary, staff will commence with snow control activities within two (2) hours of the decision to mobilize. The City relies in part on our residents to inform us when road conditions are hazardous – contact Public Works weekdays from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm at 250.624.6795 or after hour emergency line at 250.624.3000.
Local bylaws designate the clearing of sidewalks in commercial areas as the responsibility of the occupant and/or property owner of buildings, businesses and vacant property in the Commercial and Light Industrial areas. See below for regulatory requirements.
- Owners are responsible to promptly remove any snow, ice or rubbish from the sidewalks and footpaths bordering on the property, and shall not allow any snow, ice or rubbish to remain on the sidewalks and footpaths bordering on the property after the hour of 12:00 o’clock noon on any day except Sunday or a statutory holiday.
- When clearing the sidewalks, the City requests that businesses and property owners do not use table, rock salt or a sodium based product as it will damage the surface of our sidewalks. Suitable alternative de-icing products such as gravel are available for purchase from local retailers.
- Sidewalks should be clear of snow and ice the full length and width of the walkway to bare concrete to ensure accessibility for all residents.
- As in residential areas, please do not shovel onto the Street, due to safety hazard.
Failure to comply with the bylaw places the public and municipality at risk. If required, the City will fulfill these obligations for you at your cost in the interests of public safety. Should the City be required to manage snow on your behalf, the Property Owner will be invoiced accordingly with a minimum charge of $150.00 per occurrence.
Want to report a violation? Contact the City of Prince Rupert Bylaw Officer at 250.624.6852 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Public Works Department at 250.624.6795, and press 2 for Customer Service.
For a full list of zones where regulations apply, and more information, see the City of Prince Rupert Traffic Bylaw No. 2470, as amended, at www.princerupert.ca.
Thank you in advance for your compliance with the bylaw - we look forward to working together to make City streets as safe as possible for residents this winter season.