Snow Removal & Winter Maintenance

Snow Removal & Winter Maintenance

It’s that time of year again and the City of Belleville is gearing up for the winter season. Below are answers to questions we frequently receive from residents. If you need more information on the City’s snow removal and winter maintenance efforts, please call Transportation Services at 613-967-3275.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is responsible for snow clearing in the City of Belleville?

The Transportation and Operations Services Department is responsible for snow clearing on public property. During the winter, we have over 50 crew members available around the clock trained to handle a snow event. Our staff is committed to making Belleville’s roads, sidewalks and off-street trails safe year-round.

When there is a snow storm, which roads will be cleared first?

  • Priority Routes: Arterial roads, collector roads and bus routes are cleared first. These are high-capacity urban roads that see the highest use and greatest speeds, such as North Front St. and Dundas St.
  • Secondary Routes: After the primary routes are done, residential streets are cleared.
  •  Cul-de-sacs: Typically, cul-de-sacs are cleared last. This is because they are dead ends with lower volume than most residential streets and must be cleared using both a plow truck to clear the road and a front end loader to clear the snow that accumulates at the end of the cul-de-sac. With far fewer front end loaders than plow trucks, it takes more time for our crew to service these streets. 

Did you know? Provincial regulations set a maximum number of hours that plow drivers can be on duty. During a significant snowfall, all of our drivers are typically on duty to clear the City’s 950 km road network as quickly as possible. If all routes were to be serviced at the same time, the City would need to hire additional staff and purchase more equipment contributing to higher overall snow removal costs.

When will sidewalks be cleared?

During a snow event, sidewalks are cleared at the same time as roads, starting with the sidewalks on arterial and collector roads followed by residential sidewalks with preference given to sidewalks next to schools and hospitals. The City plows all sidewalks within the public right-of-way. With over 230 km of sidewalks, this process can be time-consuming and we ask that residents remain patient. All other sidewalks are the responsibility of private property owners.

Are on-street, marked bike routes cleared of snow?

Yes, on-street bike lanes are cleared at the same time as roads. We ask that motorists take extra caution when sharing the road with cyclists during the winter to help keep everyone safe.

How much snow removal equipment does the City have?

For the upcoming winter season, the City is responsible for:

  • 14 plow/sander routes
  • 2 grader plow routes
  • 3 front end loader routes
  • 3 loader/backhoes that help to load material on trucks and clear snow
  • 1 pickup truck with plow to clear small lanes and crossovers on Dundas Street and select City parking lots
  •  6 sidewalk plow routes

My driveway entrance is full of snow. Will the City clear it?

The City’s snow-plowing equipment will leave a ridge of snow across your driveway. It is up to the property owner to remove the ridge left by the City’s snow-plowing equipment. When shoveling or snow-blowing your driveway, please do not shovel or blow snow into the street. Your cooperation reduces the time required to plow all streets, which in turn reduces overtime costs and your taxes.

Helpful Hint: Piling snow to the right side of the driveway can help reduce the amount of snow pushed back into the driveway. Standing in the driveway and looking at the street determines the right side.

Does the City compensate residents for damage if caused by City equipment?

Sod, pavement, trees and mailboxes are sometimes damaged by the City’s snow-plowing equipment. If this happens to your property, please report the incident to Transportation Services at 613-967-3275. If the damage was caused by City equipment, Transportation Services will fix it in the spring at no cost to the property owner. 

What does the City do to get ready for a forecasted snow event?

The City of Belleville subscribes to a weather service that provides updates four times daily. If a snow event is forecasted, City staff will begin patrols to monitor accumulation, perform anti-icing on select roads and ensure all snow removal equipment is ready to be dispatched. Salt is applied to main roads and a sand/salt mixture is applied to residential streets to prevent ice and snow from accumulating during the storm and reduce slippery conditions.
Every fall, City staff receives training in winter maintenance to learn best practices and ensure optimal service levels for residents.

What are the City’s Winter Parking Restrictions?

From November 2 to April 14, parking is not permitted on City streets between the hours of 1:00 am and 6:00 a.m. Motorists parking on City streets, or in a City-owned parking lot, between 1:00 and 6:00 a.m. run a high risk of having their vehicle ticketed and possibly towed.

During a snowstorm, when snow clearing operations are underway, no stopping of a vehicle is permitted on any City street.  Snow-clearing operations typically take place between 11 pm and 7 am.  The fine for this offence is $75 and your vehicle will be towed.    
Vehicles left on the street pose an obstacle to snow-clearing activities, making it dangerous for both maintenance crews and the public. The goal is to restore safe motorist and pedestrian travel and to facilitate Fire, Ambulance and Police Department responses to emergencies.

How can residents help?

  • Clear the Way: Before the snow flies, please remove basketball nets from roadways to avoid interfering with snow removal operations.
  • Park Smart: Follow the City’s Winter Parking Restrictions and do not park any vehicles over the sidewalk. Even a partially blocked sidewalk interferes with plowing. 
  • Slow Down: Reduce your driving speed to account for slippery road conditions and snow clearing operations during and after a snowstorm.
  • Practice Plow Patience: Our plow operators work extremely hard to maintain high levels of service during a snow event and follow the priority guidelines set by City supervisors. Please be patient while roads and sidewalks are being cleared.
  • Timelines for this work depend on the severity and duration of the storm. As a result, it is difficult for City staff to give residents a specific time by when their street or sidewalk will be cleared. 
  • Don’t pass an active plow on the right hand side – passing an active plow and following too closely is dangerous for you, the plow operator and other drivers. Snow plow operators will pull over and let you pass when it’s safe to do so.

Does the City provide free sand to residents?

The City provides sand to Belleville residents free-of-charge for use on private property to prevent slips and falls.  The sand is available for pickup at 75 Wallbridge Crescent and 29 Ritz Road starting from the end of November throughout winter. No limits for homeowners. Bring your own shovel and pail.

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