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Public Safety is Our Number One Priority
The District's snow removal teams work closely with their colleagues in the Fire Department, RCMP and the BC Ambulance Service. The first priority is public safety during a snow incident. In addition, District staff work with Fire, Police and Ambulance services to deal with emergency situations. Crews share 'real time' road condition information and react to dangerous conditions within the framework of the overall plan. The priority is on public safety when the storm is at its worst.top
Before the Snow Falls
In most cases, weather systems generating large snowfalls follow a predictable pattern. Typically, we'll experience a period of rain from Pacific storm fronts and then the sky will clear as cooler air pushes into the Lower Mainland from the Interior. The cold air inflows, as the meteorologist will report, result in significant drops in the temperature (made even worst by strong winds). While we love the clear blue skies, we know that when the next storm front comes in, precipitation from the Pacific weather systems combined with the cold air has the potential to generate significant snowfall amounts. Based on forecasts and conditions the District may 'salt' the roads prior to a predicted snowfall to reduce the build up of ice.
You may have noticed strips of a white substance on the pavement in the morning on your way to work. This stuff is called liquid anti-icing and it is often done at night while we are all asleep. The product used is road salt dissolved in water to create a brine. Many variables determine when it's effective to use this product, including air and road temperature, humidity and road conditions. When we are able to do this the initial snow that falls does not stick as well to the road surface, and as the crews switch to snow removal the roads are easier to clear. Once again, as with snow removal equipment, we recommend that you give salting trucks a wide berth.
When you see Municipal vehicles salting the road, this is a good indicator that it's time to salt your driveway and sidewalk. Keep in mind that the salt is corrosive and can affect the health of some pets, so make sure you read the instructions on the package before using it. A salted driveway and sidewalk is much easier to shovel the next day than one where the snow was able to become packed down and turn to ice.top
Lougheed Highway and the Golden Ears Bridge
Lougheed Highway and the Golden Ears Bridge are maintained by provincial highways and TransLink contractors. They coordinate snow removal and salting for the zone that runs from Boundary Road in Burnaby to Stave Falls in Mission. As with the District, TransLink contractors phase in additional snow clearing equipment based on weather forecasts and emerging weather conditions. They too work continuously while the snow is falling.
If you see a road or safety hazard for motorists or cyclists on Lougheed Highway, please contact the 'Mainroad Group' on their 24 hour hotline at 604-271-0337.
If you see a road or safety hazard for motorists or cyclists on the Golden Ears Bridge or Golden Ears Way, please contact 'Capilano Highway Services' at 604-983-2411.top
The District has been divided into six zones called routes. Heavy equipment, plows and salting trucks are dispatched into these zones as the snow begins to fall (and before snowfalls to salt the road) to keep the main arterial roads as clear as possible.
Priority roads are marked with a 'gold' line on the route maps listed below:
- Route 1 [PDF, 234KB] - 272 Street, 280 Street, south of Dewdney Trunk Road
- Route 2 [PDF, 431KB] - 240 Street, 268 Street, south of Dewdney Trunk Road
- Route 3 [PDF, 491KB] - 232 Street, 250 Street, north and south of Dewdney Trunk Road
- Route 4 [PDF, 308KB] - 252 Street, Garibaldi Street, north and south of Dewdney Trunk Road
- Route 5 [PDF, 362KB] - 203 Street, 232 Street, primarily north of Dewdney Trunk Road
- Route 6 [PDF, 430KB] - Maple Meadows Way, 240 Street, primarily south of Dewdney Trunk Road
Crews clear these 'gold routes' as marked on their zone maps until the snow stops falling, and once the snow stops and these routes are clear, crews begin working on secondary routes.
These routes have been developed based on a number of key criteria including:
- access to Emergency Service facilities;
- main transit routes;
- high volume arterial roads;
- roads and bridges that provide the only access to large neighbourhood centres.
As the snow stops falling, priorities shift to secondary roads where access to schools and other public facilities is essential.
The amount of snow will dictate the response and how the District's resources are deployed. District vehicles are all equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking systems and are dispatched and monitored from the District's Operations Centre or Works Yard. This is a critical component of the snow clearing plan, as we are able to move resources from one zone to another based on 'micro-climate' conditions that may see one zone with little snow while another may be inundated with snow. Within the Municipality there are wide variations in snowfall amounts, and as the crews see that one area is getting a larger accumulation of snow than others, resources are redeployed as required. As we saw in 2008, some side streets or cul-de-sacs did not see a plow as resources were required to keep priority routes clear. Our team is committed to restoring access for residents as fast as possible.top