City Policy

When does my sidewalk get plowed?

This is a commonly asked question. After every snowfall, the City receives many calls about snow clearance. Some people ask why we are spending so much money on sidewalk plowing and others complain that it is not being done fast enough.

Clarification has been provided by staff as to the City of Guelph’s policy on snow removal:

Our winter control policy has two parameters, mandated service for “roads” and discretionary service for “sidewalks”.

The roads are separated into classes depending on their traffic counts and their posted speed limits. The level of service delivery that a road receives is dependant on the road class. Arterial and collector roads are class 2 and 3 and are plowed at 2.5 cm accumulation. Bus routes are class 2, 3 and 4 and are plowed at 2.5 cm accumulation.. Residential roads are class 5 and are plowed at 8cm accumulation. City laneways are class 6 and are plowed when residential roads are plowed. Operations staff also service City owned steps and walkways to the criteria outlined in the schedule.

Sidewalks have been ranked in priority based on pedestrian counts. High pedestrian volume areas including school, church and institutional areas (first and second priority) receive plowing service at 4cm accumulation, residential sidewalks (3rd priority) are plowed at 8cm accumulation. All of the service level parameters have response times attached to them. The response time indicated is the time allowed to complete the service starting from the time the event ends, OR from the time we are made aware that the conditions exist.

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