Don’t forget to shovel your sidewalks.
Surrey residents are responsible for clearing snow from their adjacent sidewalks, as per the city’s bylaw.
Failure to do so could mean a fine of $50 for residents, and $75 for businesses.
The city urges residents to do so as soon as possible after snow falls, and reminds shovellers to pile it on their lawn — not the roadway.
Last winter, there was a 44-day cold snap from Dec. 4 to Jan. 16, temperatures in Surrey were at or below zero degrees Celsius, the longest duration of freezing temperatures since 1984.
During that period, city hall was inundated with requests from the public to clear sidewalks, prompting a reminder that the responsibility falls on residents.
The city issued 81 fines for not clearing snow (49 commercial, 32 residential) last winter, as of Jan. 16. 2017.
They also issued 130 warnings in a single week.
For its part, the city has ordered a new sidewalk-clearing machine this winter as part of a pilot project in City Centre.
“This unit will be used in the City Centre areas along key sidewalk linkages,” explained Surrey’s operations manager Ray Kerr. “We will be using one unit this winter in our program and will look to expand the number of units if the pilot program is successful.”
Kerr said things are in order, and the city is ready if more snow falls.
Surrey is armed with 14,000 tonnes of road salt, and has 63 pieces of equipment on standby.
“Things are going well,” he told the Now-Leader. “All the staff and equipment are prepared for any upcoming adverse weather conditions. I would encourage residents to check in frequently using social media and the City website to get updates regarding winter maintenance.”
When the snow starts falling, not all Surrey roads get plowed immediately.
Instead, the City of Surrey splits its roads into three priority groups to ensure major routes get cleared first.
There are “first-priority” roads in the city – key arteries that are used by large numbers of drivers. They include main roads, bus routes and roads with steep hills.
Roads fronting and/or leading to schools and long-term care facilities are also included.
While “second-priority” roads are remaining arterial and collector routes. These include local connector roads in residential areas.
Local roads aren’t usually on the to-do list, but this year, that is going to change in Surrey.
“Normally, we only do arterial roads and then the more significant local roads,” Mayor Linda Hepner said Thursday. “The neighbourhood roads, generally, at end of three, four, fives days are melted so we haven’t had to think about doing that. After last year we now have to think about that. So we’re also now going to be doing first arterial, then local collectors, then neighbourhood roads.”