Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Crews continue to fight the snow with steady action citywide

Due to the exceptional amount of snow we've received in the last month, City of Calgary Roads crews have been dispatched to communities across all quadrants of the city to address the snow on residential roadways. Crews will assess all residential roadways and a course of action will be determined for each road.

After an assessment, crews will decide if the assessed roadways will need to be flat bladed, cleared, or if snow will be removed. In some cases, crews may determine that no action is required due to the roadway being at a passable and safe driving level.

Snow action terms:

  • Flat blading: driver flattens a blade on a plow and drives down a road, creating a flat surface which is easier for morotists to drive on.
  • Snow clearing: a plow clears the center of a residential street and pushes snow to the side.
  • Snow removal: snow blower and trucks are deployed and snow is removed from the street, placed in a truck, and brought to a City snow storage site.

The City’s goal is to make all residential roadways passable. In a normal Snow and Ice Control season, a residential roadway is considered passable if snow ruts are less than 12 cm deep. However, in light of the higher than normal accumulation of snow this early in winter, crews will, to the best of their ability, use 7cm as a goal/gauge on residential roads for ruts. This will help to accommodate accumulations from future snowfalls, and will help us maintain the existing policy of 12 cm in the coming months.

To see when Roads crews will be in your community visit the Snow and Ice control update page.

How to use the map:
To see when snow action is planned in your community, visit the Snow Action Scheduling Map.

  • Zoom into your community by clicking on the ‘+’ sign that is located at the top of the map. Click and hold on the center of the map and drag it from left to right or up and down to locate your street.
  • Use your mouse and click on your street, a box will pop up and a ‘week of’ date will appear. This is the timeframe that Roads crews will be in your community to tackle residential snow.

To see when snow action is completed in your community, un-click the ‘Snow Action – Scheduling’ now you will be able to see all of the completed communities.

A snow action as defined above will occur in each community. However, specific dates may change due to equipment, crew availability as well as weather conditions. Communities are scheduled on a week by week basis; it may take crews up to seven days to complete an entire community. This schedule will be actively updated until February 1.

As mentioned, crews will be out in all quadrants of the city. Residents are advised that those communities that will receive snow removal may see No Parking signs along their roadway. The City of Calgary would like to ask Calgarians to voluntarily remove their cars from roadways where these signs are posted to assist crews while they perform this task.

This plan of action is unique to these winter conditions and is not typical of The City’s Snow and Ice Control plan. Prior to 2011, the plan did not include Snow and Ice Control in residential areas. In 2011, Council created a reserve fund should unforeseen seasonal circumstances occur, such as Calgary has seen so far.


  1. The map does not work

  2. Is there a schedule of when each community will have the snow removed?

  3. Not doing a very good job, the plows came to my residential street it was one of the worst ones in my community, my street goes in a loop they did the outside areas and left the middle, i see someone get stuck every day still. How can they assess this as passable? I think they need to come have a second look

  4. The snow removal or lack there of is a complete joke!!! I have traveled all over the world and have never encountered such poor snow removal. The City of Calgary should be ashamed. The mayors comment of we have never removed snow from secondary streets before is mind blowing..well maybe it is time to change...The secondary roads are horrible...I feel for the emergency crews that have to navigate them. Its time the City start to make some is apparent that the City has been negligent in numerous initiatives, flood areas, snow removal, lack of grocery stores in the downtown core...etc

    1. A few comments:

      As to your comment of a ”lack of snow removal on secondary roads”, who is going to pay for this additional snow removal service? I agree that snow removal on secondary roads in Calgary does not compare to cities like Montreal (for example). But, Calgary's property taxes (which fund snow removal and most of the other services the city provides) are a fraction of those that Montrealers pay. Maybe not the best comparison, but my point is that nothing is free. Do you pay property taxes? Even if you rent, you still pay them in the form of your rental/lease costs. So how high would you like your rent or your taxes to be? Conversely, what are you willing to give up?

      As to the city somehow being negligent in the number of grocery stores downtown, I'm perplexed with your comment. Are you suggesting that the city should get into the grocery business? Grocery stores are private enterprises. I could be wrong but as far as I know the city doesn't prohibit grocery stores downtown. Maybe additional grocery stores downtown could be viable businesses. Feel free to open one.

      As to the city being negligent in flood areas, I'm not sure I know what you mean here. If you mean that the city has allowed development in flood prone areas and they should not have, then I am with you. Perhaps the city’s position should be to have no objection to anyone building on a flood plain provided that the buyer or builder takes 100% of the risk and pays 100% of the cost when they flood.