Why does the plow leave a pile of snow at the end of my driveway and what can be done about it?
Our plow operators do not intentionally block driveways. Snow plows do not remove snow from roads; they push it towards the curb, and with over 12,000 driveways in BWG, it's not possible for operators to lift the plow blade at every driveway. The Town understands that the resulting mound of snow at the end of a driveway (called a 'windrow') can be frustrating, but it is unavoidable.
The Town does not provide a service to remove windrows because the added cost of millions of dollars per year would have an unacceptable impact on the Town budget and tax rates.
Tip: When clearing the end of your driveway, try to pile the snow on the left side (facing your driveway). This can help reduce the amount of snow that is pushed back onto your driveway when a snow plow passes from the right. Residents are also encouraged to help neighbours in need when possible to remove heavy snow.
I cleaned my driveway after the road was plowed. Why is there another windrow on my driveway?
After the initial clearing, plows revisit roads to clean up remaining snow from around previously parked cars or additional accumulation, and to push back snow banks. This is necessary to ensure a safe road width, to leave enough room for the next snow storm that comes along, and to move the snow back before it freezes over storm drains.
How come my street doesn't look like it's been plowed even though it has?
There are several reasons why roads may appear snowy even after plowing. If cars are parked on the road when the plow comes along, they will have to go around vehicles, which leaves areas of deeper snow. If residents push snow from their own drives onto the road, this also creates random and potentially dangerous piles (and is in violation of provincial law). Residents should also be aware that the Town does not aim to plow down to bare pavement, as this is harmful to roads and the environment, so a thick layer of hard-packed snow is to be expected.
Why are courts/cul-de-sacs cleared last?
The Town starts plowing on roads with the highest traffic volume and works to those with the lowest. Courts/cul-de-sacs have no through traffic so they have the lowest volume, and also require specialized snow removal procedures. Most are serviced on a single shift after other roads have been plowed. Because driveways are typically close together, plows generally need to deposit snow in the centre of the court.
Why does one side of the road/sidewalk get cleared but sometimes it takes hours before the other side gets done?
Each plow has a route that essentially involves travelling in 'squares', making right-hand turns as much as possible, to ensure snow is continuously pushed to the right-hand curb. This frequently means that one side of the road will be cleared and the plow will move on to another street or another block and come back to finish the other side later. Plows may also leave an area before it is completely cleared for reasons including being diverted to a higher priority area, needing to get more materials (sand/salt), shift changes, etc.
Sometimes I see a plow driving down a road/sidewalk that still has snow on it but not plowing, why is this?
There are several possible reasons, for example: the plow could be on its way to work in another area, to pick up materials or for shift change; it may be on a sanding/salting run but not need to apply materials on every part of the road/sidewalk; it may be driving on a stretch of road/sidewalk where salt has been applied and they don't want to scrape it off (since it takes some time to work).
Why are trucks sometimes not on the roads later in the day even if plowing is not finished or it is still snowing?
Snowfall frequently begins during the night, so the first shift of staff typically start work in the very early morning, with another shift coming on later in the day. Ideally, roads are sufficiently cleared so that plows do not need to be on the road during the evening rush hour when they may interfere with traffic flow. In the cases of longer snowfalls or other unusual weather, a third shift may be needed, and it may run through the rush hour period. An additional factor to be considered is that plow operators are required to take a rest period after 13 hours on the road, so during especially long snow events there may be times when all operators have worked as many hours as they are permitted and there may be a small gap before plows can go back on the roads.