As Vancouver sits under a thick blanket of snow, the city says it’s working 24/7 on its snow and ice removal efforts.
“City crews are continuing to closely monitor the weather and implement a coordinated plan to treat for snow and ice on all key routes across Vancouver,” said the city in a January 1 update.
They say their crews “remain focused on treating priority routes for snow and ice” and extra staff from the Engineering Department have been deployed to help salt corner ramps and bus stops along arterial routes.
Info bulletin: with more cold, snow and heavy rain in the forecast we are extending warming centres into next week and continuing our 24/7 snow response. Read more ➡️ https://t.co/0nvexJQY8w #NewsRelease pic.twitter.com/cGbFka95k9
— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) January 1, 2022
While the city says it’s working around the clock to keep driving conditions maintained, it warns that some roads can still be icy and snowy.
“Priority routes for snow and ice treatment include major roads, bus routes, bridges, our four major pedestrian pathways…and the 16 most-used bike routes are currently being treated with salt and brine ahead of potentially more snow and ice conditions.”
The city has more than 100 vehicles and equipment for snow and ice treatment.
Residential side streets are not included in the city’s snow treatment plan, except for “priority hills.” You can view a detailed map of their prioritized areas online.
Here’s what it looks like:
The dark blue lines indicate priority bike routes, and the medium blue lines indicate priority roads.
According to the city, priority locations for snow and ice removal are:
- Major roads
- Bus routes
- Emergency access routes (including five major hospitals and two healthcare facilities)
- Bridges and viaducts (roads, sidewalks, and staircases)
- School routes
- Four key pedestrian pathways
- False Creek Seawall (from Burrard Bridge south side to north side)
- Coal Harbour Seawall (from Burrard Street to Alberni Street)
- Arbutus Greenway
- Central Valley Greenway
- 16 most-used bike routes
- Arterial bus stops and corner ramps
The priority plan does not include:
- Residential side streets (excluding locations on priority routes)
- Sidewalks adjacent to non-city-owned property
- Laneways (unless required for city collection operations)
The city says it treats locations “as resources allow to reduce further impact.” You can learn more about the city’s plan for snow removal online.
In Downtown Vancouver, much of the West End is left untouched by the snow plan while major roads like Burrard, Granville, and Georgia Streets are prioritized.
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While it doesn’t snow often in Vancouver, the city has received some attention for how it responded to the snowfalls in late 2021 and early 2022.
Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung pointed out that the city “did not treat priority pedestrian pathways in advance of adjacent bike routes as should have.”
Update to all on snow response. City staff confirmed there was a gap in implementing the direction from Council – operators did not treat priority pedestrian pathways in advance of adjacent bike routes as should have.
Steps being taken now to treat missed pedestrian sections. https://t.co/T1yLSSIuCj
— Sarah Kirby-Yung 楊瑞蘭 (@sarahkirby_yung) December 27, 2021
With rain in the forecast and the temperature expected to rise, the snow could soon start to melt in Vancouver, anyway.