We don’t get snow often in Pitt Meadows, but when we do, it can be inconvenient and hazardous. Working together, both the City and residents can help keep our community clear of snow and ice so everyone can get around safely.
The City’s Operations department maintains approximately 114km of asphalt roadways, and snow is cleared from these roadways based on a priority system. The City plows snow and treats ice with salt or sand on main routes only, around the clock, until they are consistently clear. After main routes are clear, residential and side streets are cleared. Depending on conditions and requirements to keep main routes open, it may be several days before side streets and residential roads are cleared.
All levels of service are contingent on available resources including, but not limited to, availability of equipment, manpower, supplies, and budget.
City bylaws require all residential and business occupants to clear the public sidewalks on their property as soon as possible after a snowfall, and no later than 10:00 am. In the event of heavy snowfall, we ask you to please keep your neighbours in mind and consider offering to assist them.
Snow clearing doesn't get rid of the snow, it just pushes or moves it from the driving lanes of the road so people can drive safely and get around. Unfortunately this creates parking issues, especially with a large amount of snow. There's not much that can be done about snow on the side of the roads, because there is no way to remove the snow until it melts.
Here are some tips for dealing with snow buildup on your sidewalk or roadway:
- Park in your driveway or parking lot rather than on the street (whenever possible) to make way for snow plow equipment. If cars are parked on the roadway, the plow may have to skip your street.
- When shovelling snow, pile it onto your lawn instead of on the road or sidewalk. Be sure not to pile snow around fire hydrants; blocking hydrants can cause serious delays when they are critically needed.
- Place garbage containers in cleared areas - not on snow piles. If you have a missed pickup due to the truck not being able to get into your street or you cannot place your bins at the curb, contact Waste Management about a follow-up collection at 1.800.774.9748.
- Clear snow and ice away from catch basins to allow water from melting snow and ice to flow freely into storm sewers. City crews work to clear catch basins when possible, but if residents can assist with this we can get to a cleared and safe status much faster.
Be A Good Neighbour
Be a 'Snow Angel' during the winter season by helping those who may need assistance such as those who are elderly or have mobility and/or other health issues. Being a Snow Angel means supporting your neighbours who need help with snow and ice removal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sidewalks and pathways bordering your home or business property must be cleared by 10am.
As per the City of Pitt Meadows’ Boulevard Maintenance Bylaw 2377, it is the responsibility of all owners or occupiers of real property to remove snow, ice or rubbish from sidewalks, stairs, ramps and foot paths bordering their property. Residential and business occupants are required to clear the public sidewalks on their property as soon as possible after a snowfall, and no later than 10:00 am.
Failure to comply with this bylaw may result in a $100.00 fine.
Minimize vehicles on public and residential roadways. This prevents your car from being snowed in by the snowplow and allows the City to keep more roadway clear.
Help neighbours. Particularly those who have mobility difficulties, such as seniors and persons with disabilities. Check in with them frequently, as they may be unable to get out of their home due to the snow and may need help getting groceries, medications, or other necessities.
The City clears roads on a priority basis:
Priority 1 Major streets, transit routes, and collector streets that are designated as First Priority Routes are treated and opened to traffic within twenty-four hours of a snowfall. Crews will work continuously including overtime to achieve this. Major residential hills and those streets that have wide and deep ditches are also considered a high priority. Main routes include Harris Road, Hammond Road, and Old Dewdney Trunk Road north of Lougheed Highway.
Priority 2 includes emergency roadways and school zones. These areas do not receive attention until the main routes are consistently clear.
Priority 3 includes minor collector roads and residential streets, which are dealt with only after the first priority streets are taken care of.
Priority 4 includes residential streets. Due to the demands on our crews in the other areas, it may be several days before residential streets are plowed. During this time, the snow may freeze, in which case it cannot be plowed and can only be treated with salt. If the ice is thick, the salt will not break it down and the only treatment option is sand for traction until the weather warms enough for the ice to melt.
If at any time there is new snowfall, crews must revert back to Priority 1 until those areas are clear and work their way back down the priority schedule.
Snowplows only move snow off the roadway, not remove it, so there will be snow buildup along the side of the road, on sidewalks and across driveways.
Snow that freezes cannot be plowed. If crews are busy clearing main routes and, depending on temperatures, snow on side and residential streets may melt slightly and then freeze again before crews get to these areas. The resulting ice can then only be treated with salt or sand for traction until the ice melts.
If garbage pickup is missed due to the snowy conditions and the truck is not able to access your bins, contact Waste Management at 1.800.774.9748.
Each resident in Pitt Meadows is responsible for clearing sidewalks and pathways bordering their property by 10am after a snowfall, per the City’s Boulevard Maintenance Bylaw 2377. Not clearing sidewalks is subject to warnings and potential fines.
The City clears sidewalks on municipal and park properties on a priority basis, beginning with municipal properties, then park sidewalks, then pathways within parks. Similar to the road clearing priorities, crews do not move to other sidewalks until the priority areas are clear.
Sidewalks on municipal properties are cleared by our Parks department, in the following priority:
|Priority 1||Municipal properties|
|Priority 2||Sidewalks and paths bordering park property (Staff do not move to level 2 unless level 1 is under control)|
|Priority 3||Sidewalks, parking lots on park properties. (Level 3 is not addressed unless level 1 and 2 are under control)|
Sidewalks bordering school property are the responsibility of the School District No. 42.
Sidewalks on business and multi-family property are the responsibility of the business owner or strata.
No two storms are exactly alike in their effect on traffic or on the methods used to combat them. The character of the snow, the rate of accumulation, the expected duration of the storm, the total depth of snow, the air temperatures during the storm, the temperature of the pavement at the start of the storm and the time the storm strikes (near rush hour, at night or on a weekend) are all factors that have a marked effect on traffic and on the decision as to how best to combat the particular storm.
Snow can be heavy and wet and when temperatures drop after a snowfall it can freeze. The resulting ice cannot be plowed. It is then treated with salt to break down, or if it is too thick and salt is ineffective, sand may be applied for traction until the temperature rises enough for the ice to melt.
Salt is in high demand during winter months and although we maintain a supply of salt, the City does not be offer free salt to residents. The City rations salt for roads and sidewalks and as needed.
Transit is an excellent alternative to driving! Know before you go.
Trying to manouever about the city and getting to where you need to go can be a challenging task during the winter months. Translink's Winter Conditions tips and alerts can make planning your commute easier. Check their website frequently for notice of service disruptions and/or delays.
We understand some residents have challenges keeping their property cleared of snow and ice. Please consider asking a family member, friend, or neighbour to help. Some citizens have organized volunteer groups to help with specific neighbourhood areas.
We ask that all residents check on their neighbours who are elderly or mobility challenged. This may mean helping them clear their sidewalks or knocking on their door to ensure they are ok.
If sidewalks are not cleared right away before the snow freezes, they will become icy and very dangerous. This makes it difficult for pedestrians, other community members in wheelchairs, or who have children in strollers, or who are elderly or pregnant and not steady on their feet.
Salt can break down the ice, but during winter months, salt is in high demand and can be hard to find in stores. As an alternative, kitty litter or sand may be used to give traction and make the ice less slippery. Kitty litter should not be clay-based, as this will be messy once the snow melts. Sand should be playground grade.
Our Bylaw department follows up on complaints and issues warnings where necessary.
Fines are pending for property owners who have been warned and do not make the effort to either clear sidewalks or offer traction to pedestrians who use the sidewalk.
The City's Bylaw department can be contacted at 604.465.2428. or firstname.lastname@example.org.