Snow Removal Information & FAQs
Each winter the Operations Department has the responsibility for maintaining, in a safe and passable conditio, approximately 100 km of paved and gravel streets, including lanes, within the City of Kimberley. We endeavour to accomplish this task in the most cost-effective manner possible, while still maintaining a high level of service to the driving public.
Please remember that snow and ice control is not a substitute for caution and defensive driving practices when operating a vehicle under winter conditions. We wish you a safe and enjoyable winter season and look forward to serving you in the months ahead.
Business and residents can assist City snow removal and sanding operations in a number of ways:
- Remove all unused vehicles, boats, trailers, etc. from the streets, and insure they are not blocking clear passage in lanes.
- Remove snow and ice from sidewalks fronting their properties.
- Park vehicles off City streets and avenues while snow removal is in progress or when snow removal signage is in place.
- Please note that the City will NOT clear windrows from private driveways.
- STAY WELL BACK from sand trucks and plows.
- Children should be advised not to play on snow banks adjacent to roads and to remain well away from snow removal equipment.
- Do not place steel posts or rocks on boulevards as markers, as these cause damage to City vehicles and injury to City personnel. Anyone responsible for such installations will be held liable for injury or damage they cause.
- Be patient and keep safe distance behind working snow plows and sanding equipment.
- Drive cautiously and defensively. Remember that snow plows are large heavy vehicles with limited visibility.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT SNOW OPERATIONS
What are the sanding/plowing priorities?
Sanding and plowing priorities are based on volumes of traffic and steepness of terrain. City streets are generally categorized into three groups:
1. Main streets and emergency access routes with hills.
2. Other main streets.
3. Local streets.
The main streets and hills are completed first. This ensures that traffic can access such facilities as the schools, special care facilities, the central business area and the ski hill area.
Next completed are collector streets, which may not have steep terrain but do have heavy volumes of traffic. These streets include Rotary Drive, Knighton Road and Jim Ogilvie Way. Residential streets are then attended to. During weekends and statutory holidays, the City generally services only first priority streets.
Why are some areas of the City plowed twice before my street is plowed at all?
If a major snowfall occurs before our crews have been able to clear the residential areas from a previous snowfall, we will go back to clearing the hills and heavier used streets to ensure access is maintained to priority areas.
Why can't the City remove the snow they put in my driveway entrance?
When you consider the large number of driveways in the City, it becomes very costly and time consuming to use additional people and equipment to provide this service.
Remember when shoveling your driveway to always pile the snow on the left side of the driveway (when facing the property); this will give you a better view of approaching traffic. When our plows go by, it will also reduce the chance of our plow draginig your shoveled piles back into your driveway entrance.
Why can't the size of the sand particles be smaller?
In order for the sand to be effective, it must be large enough to provide tire traction. Fine sand is blown off the road surface by the movement of traffic before it has a chance to become embedded into ice and snow. The sand that we use is screened to ensure that particles larger than 1/2" (12.5 mm) are not placed on the streets.
Why can't the City remove the snow from the sidewalk in front of my property?
As with driveway snow clearing, when you consider the large length of sidewalks in the City, it's just too costly and time consuming to use additional people and equipment to perform this service for all areas. City crews clean side walks adjacent to City buildings and City-owned property. It is the responsibility of property owners to clear the snow from sidewalks adjacent to their property.
I'm very concerned about the environment. Why don't you eliminate the use of salt?
Sanding and salting are much more economical for the normal annual amounts of snow that fall in the Kimberley area. The salt content used in our sand/salt mix is minimal and serves to retard the freezing of the sand stockpile as well as assisting the sand in binding to the roads. Direct salt applications are more expensive than salt/sand mixes and are used only when absolutely necessary.
May I place the snow from my driveway onto the traveled portion of the street?
The placing of snow on the traveled portion of the roadway is not permitted under the City's Traffic Control Bylaw. This regulation helps to ensure that potentially dangerous situations for motorists are avoided.
Why do the plow trucks go so fast?
The plow trucks have to proceed at a certain speed in order to throw the snow off to the side of the road. We do ask our drivers not to drive faster than necessary; however, sometimes shrubs, fences, walkways, sidewalks and driveways cannot avoid having snow placed on them.
Who can I call if I have a complaint or request?
For plowing and sanding, call 250.427.9660 during normal working hours (8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday). After normal working hours, weekends and statutory holidays, emergency calls ONLY should go to 250.427.4114.
I'd like to make a suggestion on snow removal. Who can I send it to?
We'll be happy to receive and consider your suggestions. Send them to City of Kimberley, 340 Spokane Street, Kimberley BC V1A 2E8 to the attention of the Director Operations.
What do the staff do when the roads are not slippery or in need of
During the times between snowfalls when sanding operations are completed, the major activities of crews include snow pickup and removal and pushing back snowbanks to provide room to push snow when the next snowfall occurs. Other activities include equipment and facilities maintenance.
Can you reduce costs?
We try to keep a good balance between levels of service and expenditures by continually trying to improve our service with minimal or no increase in cost. Our budget has remained relatively constant for the past few years, but actual costs depend on the weather. The more snow control and de-icing that is undertaken, the more it costs.