City of Richmond snow response plan ready for winter weather
21 January 2021
The City of Richmond is prepared to respond to any snowfall and icy conditions that may arise during the remaining winter months.
The City of Richmond’s centralized control centre of experienced staff manage continuous response to snow, ice or severe weather – this includes following updates to weather reports, monitoring road surface conditions around the city through six road temperature sensors and dispatching equipment and crews in advance of and during weather events.
The City of Richmond’s snow response plan includes the use of 41 specialized pieces of equipment and vehicles. The City’s Works Yard is stocked with 1,000 tonnes of salt onsite, with additional 2,200 tonnes on reserve. A secondary location outside of the Operations Works Yard will also be stocked with salt to reduce travel times and increase efficiencies for snow removal equipment working on the east side of Richmond.
Snow plow routes
When it snows, the City’s priority is to ensure all major arterial roads are pre-treated and cleared so emergency vehicles including police, ambulance and fire trucks, public transit and private vehicles can travel through Richmond’s priority routes.
First and second priority routes are pre-established and are the first to be cleared. Third priority routes consist of designated collector roads and roads of local significance. Third priority routes are salted and cleared only when first and second priority routes have been addressed. To view existing snow removal priority routes, visit https://www.richmond.ca/services/rdws/weather/route-map.htm.
If a significant multi-day snowfall event happens, City Public Works staff switch to 24/7 coverage where crews work 12 hour shifts clearing snow, laying down anti-icing liquid brine and/or salting roads to keep frost or ice from forming. This strategy is kept in place until priority roads are clear and conditions change.
For more information on the City’s snow response, visit www.richmond.ca/winter. Updates during snow and ice events will be posted on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Richmond_BC and Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofrichmondbc. Please follow Environment Canada and other reliable sources for updates on weather.
Stay safe in winter weather
The City of Richmond encourages residents to get a head start on preparing for upcoming winter weather conditions – especially with the current ongoing pandemic. Remember, plan ahead for bad weather and if in doubt, don’t go out.
The residents guide to winter weather includes safety and preparedness tips and is available on the City’s website at: www.richmond.ca/services/rdws/weather/guide.
COVID-19 safety measures are also in place for all City staff, including snow response crews working indoors and outdoors. All City of Richmond staff must wear a mask:
- While at work in City buildings, facilities and designated work areas when physical distancing cannot be maintained
- When entering and exiting City buildings and facilities
- When in a City vehicle with more than one person.
Shovel your sidewalk – it’s your responsibility
Traffic Bylaw 5870 requires residential (single-family and multi-family) owners, commercial and industrial and occupants to clear snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to their properties no later than 10 a.m. every day.
A few other reminders:
- Shovel snow onto lawns or into designated parking stalls, not the street. Shovelling snow onto the street is a hazard for vehicles and creates more work for snow plows, which then slows down the clearing process.
- Ensure accessible parking stalls on your property are clear of snow and ice.
- Keep storm drains and grates around home and business properties clear of snow and debris to prevent blocking them, which causes pooling as temperatures warm.
Heavy snowfall can create challenges for many residents. If you can, be a good neighbour and lend a hand to others in need of snow removal assistance (while keeping your distance).