Snow removal: Edmonton to adjust service levels, launches live GPS map

A new live snow clearing map will show where crews are active and working to clear roadways using GPS data

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The City of Edmonton has launched a new live snow clearing map this winter season along with a Winter Priority Loop which will prioritize clearing downtown pathways and bike lanes within 24 hours.

Under the Snow and Ice Control program, Edmontonians will see several new updates along with slightly adjusted prioritized service levels compared to previous seasons.

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“Edmonton is a winter city and the Snow and Ice Control program allows everyone to experience a safe and liveable city. The program ensures residents can connect and access spaces, services, facilities and transportation networks no matter how they travel. We want to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable winter season,” said Craig McKeown, branch manager for the city’s parks and roads services, in a Friday news release.

New live snow clearing map and Winter Priority Loop

A new live snow clearing map will show where crews are active and working to clear roadways using GPS data.

In a snow event, priority will be to first clear major roads. During this time, the map will show where snowplows are active and where they have been working. When there isn’t a snow event the map will continue to show additional work that is being done such as where plows are applying traction and conducting additional clearings.

Based off community feedback, the city has adjusted their Active Pathways Snow Clearing Map to include a new Winter Priority Loop which is connected in the downtown area and will clear priority 1 bike lanes, city facilities, LRT stations, paved trails and priority bike routes within 24 hours.

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Bike lanes, city sidewalks, wheelchair ramps, bridges, stairs and parking lots that fall outside of the priority loop have shifted to priority 2 and will be cleared within three days.

Edmonton snow
A snowplow works near 17 Street and Sherwood Park Freeway, in Edmonton Thursday Oct. 26, 2023. Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia

Manually cleared areas (bus stops, paths, public amenities) and community sandboxes will be cleared within 14 days.

For the 2023-2024 winter season all roads will be cleared within five days including industrial roadways, collector roads and bus routes, freeways, arterial roads and business districts. Residential streets and alleys will be cleared within 10 days.

Residential responsibility, parking ban and ticket enforcement

Property owners should remove snow as soon as possible, including sidewalks. Edmontonians can expect to see ticketing as a tool to speed up snow clearing. Those who do not move their vehicle during a parking ban may receive a $250 ticket and failure to clear a sidewalk may result in a $100 ticket.

To help residents keep sidewalks safe and accessible, the city will be providing sand at no costs through the Community Sandbox Program with location and details of the sand bin available on their website.

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The city can call a two-phased parking ban if needed. Phase one consists of major roads where crews will clear arterial and collector roads, bus routes and business improvements — during this phase, residents may continue to park on residential streets.

Phase two consists of residential and industrial roads which crews will work to clear. Residents may park in their driveway, a parking space on a neighbour’s property or any road cleared during phase one is typically allowed. Phase two parking bans are conditional and may not automatically be activated follow a phase one parking ban.

During a parking ban residents can sign up to receive a text or email notification when a ban is in place in their area and when it has lifted.

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