What is the current status of sidewalk snow clearing in Hamilton?

    The City currently clears 397 km of the approximate 2,445 km of sidewalks across Hamilton including: sidewalks on municipally-owned property, along reverse frontage lots, formerly Ward 12 in its entirety, and sidewalks adjacent to school property, owned by either the Public or Private School Board, in conjunction with By-law No. 03-296 on a charge-back basis. 

    The response standard for snow clearing is within 24 hours of the end of a winter event. 

    By-law No. 03-296 requires that every occupant or owner shall, within 24 hours of the end  of a winter storm event, or within 24 hours of the end of a series of consecutive winter storm events, remove and clear all snow and ice from sidewalks abutting the highways in front of, or alongside, or at the rear of any occupied or unoccupied lot or vacant lot.

    What are the potential options being discussed regarding the levels of side walk clearing in Hamilton?

    Sidewalk Snow Removal: There are three scenarios that were bought to General Issues Commmittee on January 28, 2020.

    Scenario 1: Base case, (existing Service)
    397 KM of Sidewalk

    Scenario 2: Priority 1 and 2A Roadways. Maintaining sidewalks in the base case plus the addition of an estimated 783 km of sidewalk. 

    Scenario 3: City Wide Roadways. Maintaining all sidewalks in the city, an additional 1,275 kilometres of sidewalk bringing the total to 2,445 kilometres

    KM of Sidewalk
    % of Inventory
    Activation Trigger
    Service Level
    Scenario 1 - Existing Service
    39716.2Snow CoveredClear and application of salt
    Scenario 2
    1,18048.25 cm accumulation on City sidewalks on priority 1 and 2A roadways plus the existing inventory
    Snow packed condition with de-icing material application
    Scenario 3
    2,4451005 cm accumulation on all City sidewalks
    Snow packed condition with de-icing material application

    There are restoration costs associated with damaged property that accompanies a municipality assuming sidewalk snow clearing responsibility. Is there an equivalent value assigned to any kind of compensation exercised with the plowing of our roadways?

    Damage caused by road plows is minimal as the roadways are generally cleared to the edge of pavement or curb. Damage is limited to mail boxes and minor sod impacts. The value is not specifically traced. 

    The introduction of sidewalk snow clearing may impact private infrastructure that is not allowed in the right of way such as flower beds, rock gardens, sprinkler systems etc. They are the responsibility of the homeowner to be repaired.

    How many days does the City plow a year? What is the trend, increase service and decline in service due to weather?

    On average the City responds to 25-30 snow fall events a year, responding to 29 events in Winter 2018/2019. In some cases, mixed rain/snow calls for salt trucks but not necessarily snow plows.

    What would the sidewalk look like after plowing? Would they be bare?

    After 5 cm accumulation on City sidewalks, sidewalk plows would be activated. The plows would leave a layer of snow pack on the sidewalks. They would not be bare. The City would not be sending out plows at less than 5 cm of accumulation. Homeowners would be expected to clear the snow. 

    Bare pavement condition can only be achieved through the application of salt and de-icing material. The use of salt material will increase the costs associated with manpower, equipment time and materials, which will increase the overall program costs.

    What is the standard that the City applies in paved parks pathways?

    The paved pathways in parks are cleared to meet the Occupiers Liability Act and do generally meet the Minimum Maintenance Standards. A sand/salt mix is used to achieve a bare pavement.

    How many kilometres of sidewalk are cleared in Ancaster at present and what is the cost of that clearance practice? Is this service privately contracted?

    The service is part in-house and part contractor. There are 105 km of sidewalks and the cost in 2019 was $345,000.

    What are the financial impacts to residents if the City were to increase its level of side walk snow clearing?