Winter maintenance

Winter maintenance 

Keeping our roads and sidewalks clear of snow and ice is a priority for the City. We have a 24/7 response team and a prioritized route system to keep you safe and keep the City moving through slush, snow and rain.

Report snow not plowed or slippery conditions

During a major winter storm event, the City will communicate using social media, so please follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to receive timely storm and snow information.

Which streets get cleared first?

City streets are maintained according to guidelines laid out by the Province. This means the first areas prioritized for snow clearing are:

  • high-traffic routes: These roads carry a higher volume of cyclist and vehicle traffic, including bus routes
  • roads to vital destinations: Residents and emergency services use these roads to get to hospitals, schools and to travel in and out of the City.

Snow clearing in the city

The list below shows how a range of example city streets would be prioritized for snow clearing, based on the Provincial guidelines.

  • Class 1 (highest priority): Highbury Avenue, Wellington Road, Exeter Road, Fanshawe Park Road
  • Class 2: Southdale Road, Oxford Street, Dundas Street, Wharncliffe Road
  • Class 3: Viscount Road, Dufferin Avenue, Colborne Street Cycle Track
  • Class 4: Aldersbrook Road, Doon Drive, Tweedsmuir Avenue
  • Class 5 (lowest priority): local streets and some cul de sacs
Snow clearing standards in London

Class 1 - When there is less than five centimetres of snow:

  • roads are completed within four hours after the end of a snowfall (salting/sanding only)
  • bike lanes are completed within eight hours after the end of a snowfall

Class 2 - When there is five centimetres of snow:

  • roads are cleared within six hours after the end of a snowfall
  • bike lanes are cleared within 12 hours after the end of a snowfall

Class 3 - When there is eight centimetres of snow:

  • roads are cleared within 12 hours after the end of a snowfall
  • bike lanes are cleared within 24 hours after the end of a snowfall
  • sidewalks are cleared within 48 hours after the end of a snowfall
  • bus stops are cleared within 48 hours after sidewalks

Class 4 - When there is eight centimetres of snow:

  • roads are cleared within 16 hours after the end of a snowfall
  • bike lanes are cleared within 24 hours after the end of a snowfall
  • sidewalks are cleared within 48 hours after the end of a snowfall
  • bus stops are cleared within 72 hours after sidewalks

Class 5 - When there is ten centimetres of snow:

  • roads are cleared within 24 hours after the end of a snowfall
  • bike lanes are cleared within 24 hours after the end of a snowfall
  • sidewalks are cleared within 48 hours after the end of a snowfall
  • bus stops are cleared within one week after crews clear the sidewalks

Want to know more?

Frequently asked questions
When are snowplows deployed?

The City deploys crews depending on the amount of snow that we receive:

  • Salt trucks with plow attachments are out on main roads after five centimetres or less. Crews clear roads within 12 hours.
  • Plows are out on local streets after 10 centimetres. Crews clear roads within 24 hours.
  • Plows are out on sidewalks after eight centimetres. Crews clear sidewalks within 48 hours. In Fall 2021, this will be improved to five centimetres.
  • Plows are out at bus stops after eight centimetres. Crews clear bus stops within 72 hours.

The clearing of bike lanes usually happens eight to 24 hours after the end of a snowfall.

Does the City have standards for clearing bike lanes and pedestrian sidewalks?

The City has adopted the following standards:

  • sidewalk-clearing standard which says that paths must have no more than eight centimetres of snow within 48 hours. In Fall 2021, this will be improved to five centimetres.
  • crews will treat icy sidewalks to improve pedestrians' conditions within 48 hours after staff have deemed it necessary.
  • the City is responsible for clearing bike lanes.
When is snow cleared from sidewalks? Do I need to clear sidewalks in front of my property?

The City clears sidewalks after eight centimetres of snow has accumulated. We are not able to restore bare pavement during the winter.

We encourage residents to be good neighbours and shovel the sidewalks in front of their homes. This makes it easier for all Londoners to get around on our paths.

Downtown merchants or property owners must clear the sidewalk in front of their business as per the City By-law.

How and when are park pathways cleared?

The City clears the Thames Valley Parkway and other park pathways after eight centimetres of snow have accumulated. We are not able to restore the bare pavement.

How and when are bus stops cleared?

The City clears bus stops after a snowfall. But sidewalks are our priority, and because crews clear bus stops using the same equipment, they finish them after.

When are cul-de-sacs cleared?

Cul-de-sacs are our last priority when it comes to snow clearing because of:

  • lower traffic: Fewer road users travel along these streets.
  • unique technology: Due to a large buildup of snow that often happens in Cul-de-sacs, regular plows can’t clear these streets. The City has to deploy a special plow, and this may cause delays.
Why does the plow cover my driveway in snow?

Due to plows pushing snow from the road to the boulevard, a plow will fill in driveways. It’s the property owner’s responsibility to maintain property access.

Please note: Moving snow from your driveway to the street or sidewalk is illegal.

How does the City prepare for a storm?

The City uses anti-icing technology to prepare our streets before a storm. This process helps prevent snow or ice sticking to our roads.

When are salt and sand used?

Crews use a minimal amount of salt in London. We salt only significant streets and core pedestrian areas to prevent snow and ice from sticking to the road.

The City reserves sand use for local streets at intersections, curves and hills to provide traction for vehicles. Typically, we don’t sand the entire road. Spot sanding is also used for sidewalks when we become aware of icy and/or slippery conditions – we don’t usually sand the whole path.

I’m worried about snowbanks.

Crews make every attempt to keep snowbanks to a minimum. In the core area, our team will remove any snowbanks because this is a high traffic area.

Where can I park during the winter?

Vehicles: Do not park on the road during or shortly after a snowfall. Also, avoid parking on sidewalks or at the end of your driveway and respect the overnight parking ban.

Bicycles: The maintenance of bike parking units is an owner’s responsibility.

I need help shovelling my driveway.

If you require assistance, we suggest you consider contacting the Snow Angels.

 

 

Last modified:Wednesday, November 18, 2020