This past Wednesday, Winnipeg’s Executive Policy Committee (EPC) reviewed a report created by KPMG looking into ways to reduce expenditures in the City of Winnipeg’s Public Works department. Among other things, this report made a recommendation that the city:
Consider changing the service level standards of curb-to-curb and bare pavement plowing on residential streets during high snowfall events to narrower street plows and smoothing surfaces. Also consider changing the residential road plowing process to one that would see a plow run after each significant snowfall (once PI and PII streets are completed).
Reduced Snow Clearing on Residential Streets is Not Acceptable
Bike Winnipeg shared our concern with EPC that the recommendation in the KPMG Operational Review of Public Works to reduce the service level standard for residential streets from curb to curb and bare pavement plowing would have a detrimental effect on the comfort of cyclists who are increasingly taking to Winnipeg’s roadways in winter. Residential streets often serve as important bicycle routes, and by forcing cyclists to climb up and out of a narrower plowed lane every time they meet up with a car, the city would be undoing the progress it has been making over the last number of years.
Snow Clearing Needs to be Improved
Rather than looking to reduce the level of service for snow removal, we believe the city should be looking to improve on its snow clearing policy. If we are looking for best practices in out sister cities, the City of Calgary policy of treating all roadways with bicycle lanes as priority I routes to be cleared within 24 hours is one idea we should be adopting in Winnipeg. On streets with bike lanes, smaller accumulations of snow are often swept into the bike lanes making them unridable. Moving these streets up to priority I level would go a long way towards remedying this situation.
Tell Your City Councillor to Reject KPMG’s recommendation to Reduce Snow Clearing on Residential Streets
As these recommendations will go before various city committees, it is important to let your city Councillor know that you are opposed to reduced snow clearing of residential streets as recommended by the KPMG Operational Review of Public Works. You can find contact information for your city Councillor here.
You can view our full submission here.