Get a handle on winter maintenance

Posted On Tuesday November 06, 2018

KITCHENER – Here’s the scoop, Kitchener is expanding its winter sidewalk maintenance program to include proactive bylaw inspection to help keep our community moving safely. Check your mail this week for a flyer to get a handle on what’s new.

Under the current bylaw, residents are responsible for clearing snow and ice from sidewalks around their property within 24 hours of a snowfall. Unfortunately, some property owners aren’t complying with the bylaw which can make it hard to get around and creates barriers for anyone with a walker, wheelchair, stroller or other mobility device.

“Not being able to count on a safe route that’s clear of snow and ice can be a challenge for people using sidewalks in the winter,” says Aaron McCrimmon-Jones, transportation planning project manager, City of Kitchener. “Our current data suggests bylaw enforcement has a positive impact on sidewalk maintenance. When infraction notices are issued, over 90 per cent of Kitchener property owners respond by clearing adjacent sidewalks within 24 hours of receiving the notice.”

New for the 2018/2019 winter season, bylaw officers will be proactively inspecting sidewalks citywide. If a sidewalk is not cleared of snow and ice, a bylaw officer will issue a one-time notice to the property owner and return after 24 hours. If the sidewalk has still not been adequately cleared, the city will clear it and the property owner will be invoiced approximately $400. Residents can still call the corporate contact centre at 519-741-2345 to report unshovelled sidewalks. When a complaint is received, staff will be sent out to inspect the sidewalk.

“Our proactive bylaw officers will inspect and collect data on sidewalk conditions to help us assess the effectiveness of the program and we’ll report back to council in May 2019,” states McCrimmon-Jones. “We also want to hear how it’s going from residents who can provide feedback about the program by completing surveys on Engage Kitchener on February 1 and April 1.”

Other winter maintenance information residents should be aware of:

Neighbourhood shared snow blower program
Get money to put towards a new snow blower for your neighbourhood. The city has grant funding for up to 10 neighbourhood snow blowers. The shared snow blower will be jointly owned by residents living in the same neighbourhood to keep their sidewalks, driveways and walkways clear. There’s still time to apply! Interested Kitchener residents can apply online to receive up to $500 towards the purchase of a new snow blower. The deadline to apply is Nov. 9, 2018.

Assisted sidewalk and windrow clearing services

The Working Centre  is offering assisted sidewalk and windrow clearing services for up to 50 properties to residents who need assistance. Apply online to be considered for the program. This is for sidewalks and windrow clearing only and does not include driveways or private walkways. A snow windrow is the pile of snow at the end of your driveway that is left after snow plows clear the road.

Be a Snow Angel
Snow Angels shovel for neighbours who may need help. You can be one, all you need to do is lend a helping hand whenever the snow falls. Recognize a snow angel.

Online survey
Provide feedback on the new winter maintenance program by completing online surveys on February 1 and April 1 on Engage Kitchener.

Tag and tow bylaw
From December 1 – March 31 from 2:30-6 a.m. there is no overnight parking permitted on any city street, whether or not there is snow on the streets or snow plows are in operation. This allows the city's operations crews to plow the streets safely and efficiently.

Snow events
A Snow Event is declared by the city when credible weather forecasts predict a significant snowfall and triggers the tag and tow bylaw which prohibits parking on city streets. The city’s operations crews aim to clear all streets within 24 hours when a Snow Event occurs. Sign up to receive Snow Event notifications. In Ward five only vehicles may park on the paved portion of a boulevard under certain conditions

 

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For more information:
Erin Power
Communications and Marketing Associate, City of Kitchener
519-741-2200 ext.7547| TTY 1-866-969-9994 | Erin.Power@kitchener.ca 

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