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Snow removal in the Town of Gibsons

Snow removal in the Town of Gibsons

In the Town of Gibsons, the public works department is responsible for snow removal and ice control on streets and roads in accordance with the “snow and ice control policy”. This policy provides for the safe passage of vehicles and pedestrians by ensuring that snow and ice control operations are carried out in a timely manner. (Sechelt has similar policies to those listed throughout this article.)

The Town is also responsible for snow removal from sidewalks bordering municipally-owned and operated property. All sidewalks will be cleared within 24 hours after it stops snowing.

Local residents and businesses also have a role to play in snowy weather. The Town’s highway traffic bylaw requires owners or occupants of residential, industrial and commercial buildings to clear sidewalks next to their property of snow and ice as soon as possible after a snowfall, to ensure they are safe for pedestrians.

Home and business owners should be aware that shovelling snow can cause sudden increase in blood pressure and heart rate, and the cold air can cause constriction of the blood vessel and decrease oxygen to the heart. This increases how hard the heart has to work and can trigger a potentially fatal heart attack.

According to Metro Health, individuals who are at risk of a heart attack during cold outdoor activities include:

• Those with a prior heart attack

• Those with known heart disease

• Those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol

• Smokers

• Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle

Such individuals should think twice about shoveling snow and should talk to their doctor before taking on such a task.

The lines you see on the roads are made by a brine solution (salt & water) that contains 24 per cent salt.  This brine solution is applied when the roads are expected to freeze, and can stay intact for up to five days.  It is effective at a temperature that dips down to -8.

District crews monitor weather reports and are prepared and ready to respond to snow events when they arrive.  Crews then use snow plows to clear roads once snow accumulation is expected to exceed 2cm.

Snow is cleared in the following order of priority to ensure the safety of motorists:

1. Major arterial streets, school bus and transit routes, access routes to emergency services buildings, commercial areas and steep roads are responded to first.

2. Collector streets in residential neighbourhoods are responded to second.

3. Local streets and roads and other areas as and where needed are responded to third.

In the event of an ongoing snowfall, it may take longer for plows to reach local streets as first and second priority streets will require ongoing and repeated attention.  This work is carried out during normal working hours.

During heavy snowfall on the Sunshine Coast, the Sunshine Coast RCMP and Capilano Highways advise people not to drive unless necessary.

Tony Browton is an award-winning Realtor who lives and works on BC’s Sunshine Coast. 

His weekly blog can be found here

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