Winter Maintenance Service Levels

I know no one wants to think of winter, but Council discussed the winter maintenance program at our September 5th GC meeting. We have had issues with regards to our winter service levels over the last couple of years. As I have stated many times, when it comes to services such as snow removal, the Town should be providing the best possible service for the best possible price for our residents and our current winter maintenance program is not the best service to the residents. I would like to commend Mr Tree and Mr Downey for recognizing the issues with the current program and for working at developing efficiencies that will look to providing the service levels our residents expect. The changes proposed by staff will bring far better service of snow clearing at no extra cost to the residents!! Some of these changes include adding the 4 crew leaders to help actually plow, as under last year’s program the crew leaders stayed in the operations base. The Parks Dept and IES will be working together this year, utilizing not only equipment but staff. These repurposing measures will allow for a better service with no added cost to the residents. This is something that I have been asking for since the beginning of this term – and specifically through two motions – and have been working with staff to look for efficiencies within. The proposed program changes are:

  • Assign 24 hour, 7day per week trained road patrol staff coverage to monitor road conditions and callout staff in response to road conditions
  • Re-assign four winter crew leaders into winter road plow/sander operators
  • Assign up to 3 Parks Division operators to winter roads standby rotation
  • Utilize Parks Division equipment and operators for cul-de-sac and rear lot driveway winter maintenance
  • Assign up to 3 groups of 7 staff to a rotating standby schedule
  • Equip existing Parks tractor with more efficient box type snow plow an one existing IES wheel loader with snow plow and wing

I think the proposed changes are a great improvement to our winter maintenance program. And while I would like to see the summer weather here as long as possible, I am looking forward to a winter of clean and clear streets and sidewalks for Aurora.

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12 Responses

  1. I hope Council brings back No overnight winter parking. Last winter the same cars were in the same places, snow or no snow. The old way worked!!

  2. Tom; The Town needs to bring back No overnight Parking during the winter and must be monitored.

    Last winter snow removal trucks could not perform their jobs properly due to parked cars and trucks.
    In general the parking bylaws are out of date and should be amended so that the bylaw officers can enforce them more efficiently.

    Bylaw officers must be on duty 24/7 to enforce these bylaws. Bylaw enforcement is a full time job, not as they are now part time.

  3. I would like the snow plots to please slow down when driving by. As well it’s difficult for us to shovel the packed snow that is left at the end of our driveway. Is there any way of having the pows use an arm when passing driveways so we don’t struggle when shovelling the added snow. It’s always so difficult as it’s heavy and full of ice. Thank you.

  4. I also agree that no overnight street parking should be allowed! I live on McLeod it is a through way! Some drive ways are so close together with huge piles of snow inbetween drive ways. It is difficult backing up from your driveway on to Mcleso drive when you have to look over high snow banks and trucks parked in driveways. Also there is a corner and you have to back up quickly because vehicles are speeding to make the light at Wellington and McLeod. ( this is a whole other issue! The riming of the light is inconsistent).We have already backed into parked cars on McLeod and our insurance has had
    to fix their vehicles!
    There should be no parking on McLeod drive, the timing of the light needs to be consistent and there should be speed bumps and Gilbank and McLeod! Perhaps even a pedestrian crossing with speed bumps! I look forward o your reply! Thank-you

  5. Agree with comments re no winter overnight parking; in fact, we would like no overnight parking period all year but at a minimum go back to no winter parking

  6. Frank leone Oct 2 .2017 -reply

    Hi Tom thank you for the update , I like the idea of using parks tractors for cul – de – sac it makes much more sense ,instead of usin the old antiquated equipment with plow and wing which is too big and was designed for hi-ways . Thank you

  7. I also agree with no parking overnight.
    The same people always park on the street when they have their own driveway OR they have 3 veichles when the drive way only fits 2, preventing the snow plows to properly plow the drive way.

    These people get away with it because the by law officiers don’t hand out these tickets often enough.

  8. Re-enforcement the no overnight parking policy during winter time.

    If the same policy applies all year round not just winter time, it will eliminate abuse of parking.

  9. Hi Tom … can’t quite support the overnight parking coming back; some people say it was abused last winter, but as well common sense has not prevailed in past and residents were equally abused by by-law enforcement. Case-in-point … it was the early a.m. of November 1st at 2:12 a.m. when I received a $50 ticket when I had forgotten the start of the by-law … it happened to be 20 degree days and a plus 10 degree night with dust in the street (was a new development behind City Hall).

    As for plowing, one way to save some money is to re-work the sidewalk plow blades so that they fit the width of the sidewalk when angled … either adjust the hydraulics on the plow to achieve a greater angle, or, cut a few inches off each end of the plow blade .. the result would be that in May the works department or the contractor (it’s still in the costs) would not go all over Town replacing/patching sod … watched this out our front window for the last 5 years.

  10. We live in the new subdivision at Leslie and St. John’s Sideroad, off of Crane Street. It has been extremely difficult for us to shovel the packed snow that is left at the end of our driveway after the ploughs come through. Is there any way of fixing this so that we, as a community, don’t struggle when shovelling the added snow. I agree that it is ALWAYS so difficult as it’s heavy and full of ice. Thank you!

    1. Hi Natalie, I have inquired about the possibility of the Town adding windrow clearing to the winter maintenance service. This is something that will need to be discussed at Council during Budget as there would be a significant increase in the cost to provide this.

      Neighbourhood Network does offer a free service to seniors or those with disabilities to help clear the windrow. https://neighbourhoodnetwork.org/?t=programs&id=1

      I agree that clearing the windrow is difficult, heavy and full of ice!! I will continue to work with staff on this and keep everyone updated..

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