New snow plowing program unveiled

City of Red Deer unveiled a new snow plowing program on Thursday that will see streets cleared sooner, faster and more often. A new coloured route system has been adopted to streamline snow clearing and make it easier to let residents know when they can expect the plows.

City of Red Deer unveiled a new snow plowing program on Thursday that will see streets cleared sooner, faster and more often.

A new coloured route system has been adopted to streamline snow clearing and make it easier to let residents know when they can expect the plows.

New triggers for mobilizing plows, graders and sanders, and targets for getting the job done should also improve service.

An interactive website has been set up so property owners can get live plowing updates.

To bankroll the plan, city council approved $1.9 million in capital spending this year to add two more plow trucks, two graders, a skid steer, a truck/trailer combo, a snowblower and a loader.

An $855,000 increase in operational spending was also approved for this year, and again next year.

The changes follow a winter that put the city’s snow clearing program to the test.

Residential areas will benefit from a significant boost in service with the plows heading out when the snow pack has reached 10 cm. The city has now been divided into 11 snow zones lettered A through K.

Routes will also be identified by colour: red, purple, blue, green, grey and orange.

“A significant advantage of the Snow Zone system is that it allows the city to better communicate snow plowing with residents,” says Greg Sikora, public works manager.

In the next few weeks, information will be sent to households outlining details of the new plan, including snow route locations. That information can also be found at www.reddeer.ca/snowzone.

When it’s time to begin plowing, residents will be alerted through local media, online, social media, email, RSS alerts and a Snow Zone Hotline.

Residents will be asked to remove their vehicles from the road between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in most areas. Zone D, in the downtown, will see 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. parking restrictions.