With the arrival of snowy and icy conditions, City of Parksville crews and equipment are prepared to dispatch and clear roads on a priority basis.
The city follows Council Policy No. 8.10 to ensure municipal streets and sidewalks are maintained in a reasonably safe condition while balancing budgetary limitations and available personnel and equipment, according to a news release by the City of Parksville.
The priority during and after a snowfall is to clear major arterial streets, such as the Island Highway and Alberni Highway, as well as access to emergency services.
Collector streets, such as Temple Street, Pym Street and Hirst Avenue, are the second priority.
Once conditions have stabilized on these priority routes, crews will begin to clear residential streets.
With continuous snowfall, crews may be required to go back to clearing priority roads again, and should this occur, it will take crews longer to clear residential streets.
Priority routes for snowplowing are arterial roads and highways, followed by collector roads and then local roads.
In Qualicum Beach, first priority is emergency routes, including Rupert Road between the ambulance and fire station, according to a Town of Qualicum Beach news release.
Next are arterial roads, such as Laburnum Road, Rupert Road, Village Way, Memorial Avenue and Highway 19A, followed by collector roads like Crescent Road, Fern Road, Chartwell Boulevard and Eaglecrest Drive.
After those have been cleared, snowplows will move on to residential through-roads and then residential cul-de-sacs and lanes.
“Only access roads serving more than two homes will be plowed,” the release read. “It takes approximately 72 hours to reach cul-de-sacs from the time it stops snowing. If fresh snow falls again, crews must return to streets with higher priority.”
Residents can view a colour-coded map of priority routes by accessing the map on the city’s website. When it snows, city vehicles with snow-removal capacity will focus on clearing the main artery of Highway 19A as well as the clearing of other “Priority A “routes, which are outlined in red on the map.
The city also performs other snow clearing duties such as the Parksville Fire Department access and lot, the Parksville Community Centre on Jensen Avenue access and lot, Parksville Civic and Technology Centre access and lot and other city parking lots as required.
Property owners are required to ensure snow is removed from the adjacent sidewalks, boulevards and private property and is not deposited on the adjoining roadway, city property or highways, according to the release. There is a $50 fine for failure to do so.
During periods of heavy snowfall, in areas of heavy pedestrian traffic, adjacent to city-owned property, city crews will support public sidewalk clearing through use of snow blowers and other snow removal equipment only as availability of equipment and personnel allow.
Wherever possible, drivers are asked not to park vehicles on the streets during periods of snowfall, as this impedes the travel of plows and may result in a vehicle buried by snow.
During the plowing of streets, a windrow of snow may be formed across driveways. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable, especially during heavy snowfalls. As the city does not have the equipment or personnel for a private driveway/access clearing program, it is the owner’s responsibility to open access to the adjoining roadway.
Clearing of private roads and parking lots is the responsibility of the property owners who are required to ensure that snow removed from their property is not deposited on the adjoining public sidewalks or roadway.
In Qualicum Beach, residents are required to clear snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to their properties, according to a Town of Qualicum Beach news release, and be aware of the following:
• Sidewalks should be cleared no later than 10:00 a.m. on each day of a snowfall, except Sunday;
• Sidewalks should have at least a 3-4 foot wide pathway cleared, for accessibility;
• Failure to clear your sidewalk may result in a $75 fine for each day the offence continues. If the sidewalk remains unattended, the town may perform the work and charge the owner/occupier with the cost;
• Avoid using salt on sidewalks as it damages concrete and paving stone surfaces. Instead, use de-icer to minimize damage.
— NEWS Staff