City snow and ice control is provided by city employees and equipment supplemented with rented private sector equipment and operators in all areas of the City of Vernon including Okanagan Landing and Blue Jay Subdivision.
Questions & Answers About Snow Operations
Sanding and plowing priorities are established based on the volume of traffic and the steepness of the terrain. The main streets, or arterials, are completed first. Local or residential roads are completed following the main streets. Lanes and cul-de-sacs are plowed last.
During a snow fall, plow trucks will only plow main streets. Depending on the severity of the snow fall, it may take up to 72 hours following the end of the snow fall for all residential streets to be plowed.
The City may spray magnesium chloride on high priority streets in advance of and during a snow storm to improve road traffic safety. The liquid is applied at various concentrations depending on temperature and anticipated volumes of snow. The liquid helps prevent snow and ice from bonding to the road surface. The anti-icing program is a proactive approach used in an attempt to improve road safety at the start of a winter storm as opposed to conventional reactive snow removal practices.
A significant investment in equipment and increase in the snow and ice control budget would be required to remove snow from over 6,000 driveways in the City. Our equipment plows snow to the right hand side of the road, and we rely on residents and businesses to remove the snow from their driveways. This service is the most economical for taxpayers.
Please remember when shovelling your driveway to always pile the snow on the left side of the driveway (facing the property). This will give you a better line of vision of the traffic coming and when our plows go by, we will not drag your shovelled piles back into your driveway entrance. Always keep spring thaw in mind when selecting where to pile the snow.
No, do not place snow on the street. The placing of snow on the travelled portion of the roadway is not permitted under the City’s Traffic Bylaw #5600. This regulation helps to ensure that potentially dangerous situations are avoided.
Plow trucks are used to clear a single lane and get traffic moving. Following heavy snowfalls, graders and loaders may come back to your street to push back wind rows to ensure that there is adequate room for future snow falls. The City attempts to avoid plowing snow onto sidewalks.
The Operations Department plows the snow to the centre of the street in early morning so the parking areas are not blocked with snow. This snow is usually removed the following night with a snow blower and trucks.
The snowplows are designed to plow snow to the right hand side. In order to plow all the snow to one side, the equipment would have to drive on the wrong side of the road creating an unsafe traffic situation. This would also take more time, meaning streets not serviced yet would have to wait longer.
The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure contracts a highway maintenance company to take care of the road maintenance on Highway 97 and Highway 6 through the City.
The Traffic Bylaw #5600 requires the owner or occupier of property to remove snow and ice from sidewalks bordering their property within 24 hours following the end of a snowfall. If the property owner fails to clear the sidewalk, the Bylaw Enforcement Officer has the authority to remove the snow at the property owner’s expense.
The City of Vernon Operations Department and Parks Department remove snow from all paved linear trails, sidewalks adjacent to civic buildings, and sidewalks fronting major arterial routes including 27th Street, Highway 6, and Highway 97. If you wish to report a sidewalk area not cleared, please call the Bylaw Enforcement at 250-550-3505.
Hopefully a volunteer neighbour, or a relative, will assist you. Alternatively, a maintenance service or young person in the neighbourhood could be hired for your snow removal needs.
One of the main obstacles for equipment operators is parked vehicles and recreational vehicles on snow routes. Once the snow starts, removing your vehicles from the street, cul-de-sac, or alley until the roads are cleared will allow the operators to do a much better job. Residents are reminded to plow sidewalks adjacent to your property and to please plow snow from sidewalks and driveways to front yard areas where possible. Snow plowed onto roadways reduces road snow storage areas and creates a hazard for motorists.
Allow yourself additional time to arrive at your destination. Drive according to weather conditions and yield to snow plows and sanders, which must plow and sand the centre line of the road at times.
As a pedestrian, always wear appropriate footwear and reflective clothing.
Please remember that snow and ice control is not a substitute for cautious and defensive driving practices when operating a vehicle under winter conditions.