That, at least, is the goal of the city’s operations department, which has made a few changes following last year’s snow removal woes.
“We have been successful in getting a number of new pieces of equipment for renting and also on a retainer basis,” said Gina Layte Liston, associate director of public works for the city. “So the renting includes graders, some loaders, and some sidewalk machines.”
One of the issues that surfaced last year was when heavy, successive snowfalls hit, the city couldn’t access enough private contractors. That now should not be an issue.
The city has also set a specific time frame for its priority areas to be cleaned. Priority one routes, which includes main roads, downtown, priority hills, the hospital, school zones, and civic facilities, along with priority 2 areas, including all bus routes that are not main arterial roads and commercial and industrial roads, are to be cleared within 48 hours after it stops snowing.
Priority three areas are to be completed within 72 hours after priority one and two routes are cleaned.
In other words, the entire city should be cleared within five days after it stops snowing.
The five-day time frame, however, is contingent on there not being another snowstorm within those five days.
“If we get snowfall after snowfall, there’s no question that can create difficulties,” said Layte Liston. “Our goal is to get that five-day, at least, first go-through done. What we look for is reasonable access. What do people need for reasonable access?”
Also to help this year, the city will get tougher on residents who leave vehicles parked on city streets.
“Within the bylaw there is an allowance for both ticketing and towing, we plan to do both of those things,” said Layte Liston. “Our job is to get the snow cleared in an efficient and effective manner, and they may include towing.”
The city will also be more proactive in keeping residents informed about snow-clearing activities. Information will be posted on the city website, listing areas where snow clearing will be occurring. Residents can also sign up for an electronic notification of snow clearing. The city will also be using traditional and social media to let residents know where snow clearing is occurring.
Driveway clearing will continue for Prince George residents. Streets that are cleared by a grader will have driveway clearing, usually done by a loader, while streets that aren’t cleared by a grader, a truck plow will go through. This work, however, is only done after the entire city is cleared. In other words, more than five days after the end of a snowfall.