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Winter Control

Snow Clearing - Frequently Asked Questions

It's snow time!

Armed with plows, sand and salt, our crews are ready to clear your roads and sidewalks as quickly and effectively as possible. We maintain 5,400 lane kilometres of roads and 170 kilometres of sidewalks, so your patience is appreciated.

Winter conditions create challenges for both pedestrians and motorists. The City of Kawartha Lakes main objective is to provide safe, passable roads, sidewalks and parking lots so that residents can travel throughout the City in a safe and efficient manner during the winter months.

The Public Works Department makes every effort to ensure that the City’s roads, sidewalks, and parking lots are safe and to provide effective and efficient winter control programs for the public.

The primary objectives of the winter control program are:

  • to reduce the hazards of winter conditions for motorists and pedestrians on roads, sidewalks, and parking lots maintained by the City
  • to reduce the economic losses to the community and industry resulting from traffic delays and accidents
  • to facilitate the handling of emergencies by all emergency personnel
  • to maintain safe, passable school bus and public transit routes

To learn more about the City of Kawartha Lakes Winter Control program and snow removal information, select from the topics below.

What number do I call if I have a concern?

To report a snow related concern, please call 705-324-9411.

Does the City clear all roads at once?

No. Arterial roads are plowed first. Collector and Residential streets are plowed only after snow accumulates in excess of 8 centimetres. Snow plow operators strive to clear all roads in the City of Kawartha Lakes as quickly and efficiently as possible, however, when we have a heavy snowfall, or successive winter events back to back, it may take longer to clear all the streets.

What are Arterial, Collector and Residential roads?

Arterial roads are based on road class and those with the greatest volume of traffic such as Angeline and Kent Streets in Lindsay, Glenarm Road, CKL Road 121 and CKL Road 36. Collector roads, such as Hartley Road and Sweetnam Drive, are roads that have less traffic than Arterial roads, but also have bus routes and generally lead to Arterial roads. Residential roads have much less traffic than Arterial or Collector roadways. 

When does the City plow the roads?

The City deploys resources based on the Council-approved Winter Maintenance Level of Service Policy.

Arterial roads will be plowed when snow accumulation reaches 2.5 centimeters. Collector and Residential roads are plowed when snow accumulation reaches 8 centimeters.

Residential roads are NOT plowed or salted to achieve bare pavement and periodic snow pack conditions can be expected.

Due to differing weather regions and snow accumulation levels in Kawartha Lakes, as well as the Council-approved Winter Maintenance Level of Service Policy, City snow plows may clear roads at different hours of the day. As a result, residents should not expect to see the snow plow pass their home at the same time each day.

What is bare pavement level of service?

To achieve bare pavement, salt must be applied at the onset of snow so that a layer of salt brine is maintained between the road surface and accumulating snow (to prevent bonding). In order to provide this level of service to residential roads, significant increases in equipment and salt would be required, with increased costs and environmental impact. The City as well as other Canadian road agencies are required to have a Salt Management Plan to manage salt use and minimize environmental impacts.

What is ‘snow pack’?

The snow pack is hard-packed snow on a roadway. It is the condition that can be expected on gravel roads. Snow pack develops very quickly as vehicles travel on snow-covered roads. Snow plows are not able to scrape off snow pack as it is usually bonded to the pavement. Although bumpy at times, vehicles typically navigate snow pack quite easily. Under snow pack conditions, some rutting can be expected. The City will take steps to improve conditions when warranted.

When does the City salt and/or sand the roads?

Salt trucks are dispatched to all Arterial roads at the start of a snowfall and at the first sign of roads beginning to ice. Salting and sanding occurs on other roads where needed.

Why does the snow plow leave a windrow to block my driveway?

Plow operators do not intentionally block driveways. With several thousand driveways, it is not practical for plow operators to lift their blades at every driveway. The plow operator also has limited control over the amount and direction of snow that comes off the plow. When clearing your driveway, try to pile the snow on the right side (standing in your driveway and looking towards the street). This can help reduce the amount of snow that is pushed onto your driveway when a snow plow passes. The City does not clear driveways.

When are transit stops cleared?

Transit stops with bus shelters are cleared only after roads are cleared.

When can I expect my sidewalk to be cleared?

Sidewalk clearing is generally completed within 48 hours after the end of the storm; however, when we have a heavy snowfall, or successive winter events back to back, it will take longer to clear all sidewalks.

Why does my lawn get damaged when the sidewalk plow goes by?

While operators strive to minimize sod damage, some degree of damage is inevitable. Sidewalk plows are required to be large machines in order to effectively plow deep snow, when needed. Unfortunately, this makes them less forgiving to operate on sidewalks. Deep or drifted snow conditions often completely hide the sidewalk edge. When sod is frozen, damage is minimized; however, when sod is not frozen, it lifts away very easily and damage can be extensive. Often, the sod removed is overgrowth growing onto the sidewalk.

How you can help

  • Remove snow from fire hydrants and drainage catch basins near your property.
  • Pile snow on the right side of your driveway (when facing the road) when shovelling. This helps minimize the ridge of snow created by the snow plow at the end of your driveway.
  • Remove plowed snow at the end of your driveway (see above bullet). Snowplow operators must push snow to the curb or shoulder, possibly covering recently shovelled driveways.

Park vehicles off the street when possible. By-law 2012-173 prohibits parking of vehicles on town streets between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. from November 1 to April 30.

Despite sections 2.08 and 2.09 of the By-law, no person shall park a vehicle on any highway from November 1st of one year to April 30th of the following year at any time between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., or during such shorter period as is identified by authorized signs.

(b) Despite Section 2.10(a), in Lindsay, the hours for prohibiting parking on Kent Street West from Lindsay Street to Victoria Avenue, from November 1st of one year to April 30th of the following year shall be between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., or during such shorter period as identified by authorized signs.

(c) Despite Section 2.10(a), in Bobcaygeon, the hours for prohibiting parking on Bolton Street from King Street to Canal Street, from November 1st of one year to April 30th of the following year shall be between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., or during such shorter period as identified by authorized signs.

(d) Despite Section 2.10(a), in Fenelon Falls, the hours for prohibiting parking on Colborne Street from Water Street to Bond Street; on Water Street from Colborne Street to May Street, on May Street from Water Street to Francis Street, and on Francis Street West from Colborne Street to May Street, from November 1st of one year to April 30th of the following year shall be between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. or during such shorter period as identified by authorized signs.

(e) Despite Section 2.10(a) in Omemee, the hours for prohibiting parking on King Street from Queen Street to Sturgeon Road, from November 1st of one year to April 30th of the following year shall be between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. or during such shorter period as identified by authorized signs.

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