Vancouver buys new snow plows to keep bike lanes clear

Nov 28 2019, 12:43 pm

The City of Vancouver’s growing bike lane network has received new maintenance equipment for winter weather conditions.

According to the municipal government, it acquired two new miniature plows this year, adding to the four miniature plows in 2018, for a total fleet of six miniature plows.

These vehicles clear snow and spread salt and brine to prevent ice buildup. They fit on bike lanes and other narrow paths.

Fifteen of the most-used bike lane routes are amongst the city’s priority locations for snow and ice removal.

While bike lane trip volumes over the winter months are a small fraction of the peak volumes during the summer months, they still see utility that is increasing from the continued growth of the grid.

The Burrard Bridge protected bike lanes saw 40,000 bike trips in December 2017, and 47,000 bike trips in January 2018 — compared to 216,000 bike trips in July 2018. Similar numbers were recorded for the bike lane crossing outside Science World for the same periods.

The city currently has 71 vehicles outfitted for snow and ice response, a salt supply of 10,000 tonnes, and hundreds of personnel available as required.

Its other priority locations for snow and ice removal are major arterial roads, bridges, emergency access routes (including hospitals and healthcare facilities), school routes, sidewalks around schools and hospitals, bus stops, and arterial corner ramps.

With files from Eric Zimmer.