Red Deer’s snow and ice clearing policy will be tweaked before next winter, but specifics of what exactly will change has not yet been outlined.
City council was only told administrators will be revisiting how windrows are done, and also looking at whether wide-scale parking bans can be imposed on green-route streets.
The pilot program is being tried after last winter’s abrupt temperature changes left many deep ruts and ice on streets — specially in residential areas.
Greg Sikora, Manager of Parks and Public Works, told council last winter was highly unusual as there were 87 freeze-thaw days and 55 per cent of days went above zero degrees. Clearing the mess these temperature fluctuations created, while maintaining Red Deer’s 900 km of roads and 143 km of trails isn’t an easy job, he suggested, so new methods will be trialed next winter.
A major shift is council’s the approval of a “mobility hierarchy” which stipulates that on-street parking will be restored only once vehicular mobility is realized. This could come in the form of city-wide residential parking bans.
Sikora noted cars left in the streets are the single biggest obstacle to clearing roads properly.
“This revised policy approved today by council means we can be more responsive to our snow and ice operations, shifting to be faster, more proactive and flexible that means citizens will see mobility restored sooner following snow and other extreme weather events,” added Sikora.
As few specifics were provided about the pilot program, Coun. Kraymer Barnstable noted council is being asked to trust staff to come up with a better procedure by next winter. “I trust you,” Barnstable added, but he also noted that if the public is not happy, councillors will be the first to hear.
More information will be shared with the public over the coming months.