Snow removal challenges on roads, bike routes and sidewalks

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To document some of the issues with snow removal on bike routes, sidewalks and streets, we’ve included a number of photos in our slideshow. While there might be a narrative that bike routes are cleaned before sidewalks and pedestrian routes, a number of photos illustrate problems with many bike routes not being cleared properly of snow (photos on Adanac, W7th Avenue, 1st Avenue, Lakewood, Woodland, BC Parkway in Trout Lake). There are plenty of issues with snow and ice removal on side streets and arterial roads. This isn’t the first winter with snow in Vancouver and the same problems seem to crop up every year. Garbage and recycling pickups are missed, commutes to work are impacted and it becomes difficult to get around. Other large cities in Canada don’t come to a standstill after a snowfall. Could Vancouver make more progress coping with a little bit of snow?

6 thoughts on “Snow removal challenges on roads, bike routes and sidewalks

  1. One thing I’ve noticed is that every snowfall is the same with articulated buses unable to make it up hills, or, worse, jackknifed or wrapped around lamp posts blocking other traffic. Could they send out shorter buses during snow storms, equip them with chains, or have them run in a convoy with a snowplow in front? Anything other than sending them out and hoping for the best…

  2. And plowing bike routes needs several “sweeps” a day. And even then, many cyclists have bicycles with “smooth” tires, therefore no traction.

  3. How do Burnaby, New West, West Van etc handle snow? A friend who lives in North Van said the ploughs were out there first thing in the morning and as soon as she crossed the bridge into Vancouver, the streets were noticeably snowier. Is Vancouver spending too much on matters that are not really municipal and not enough of basic services like snow removal?

  4. How do Burnaby, New West, West Van etc handle snow? A friend who lives in North Van said the ploughs were out there first thing in the morning and as soon as she crossed the bridge into Vancouver, the streets were noticeably snowier. Is Vancouver spending too much on matters that are not really municipal and not enough of basic services like snow removal?

  5. You don’t equip up and staff up to deal with events that might have a 65% chance of occurring and altering normal practice for about 3 to 4% of the days in a 365-day year. The risks posed are minimal to moderate. Instead, you adapt for three or four short periods and accept life as it is. If you live in a climate zone where snow events are so frequent and temperatures ensure snow does not melt, then you have to clear it away, As my grandfather, a west coaster, used to say: “when it snows here you wait and let the guy who put it here take it away”. He refused to own a snow shovel.

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