Stay In The Know About Snow

Anyone living in Edmonton last winter probably remembers that we saw enough snow to last a lifetime.  Does the term ‘Snowmageddon’ ring any bells?

Between November 2010 and April 2011, nearly 160 cm (or 63 inches) of the white stuff fell throughout the city.  And just to compound matters, we were hit with a number of freeze-thaw cycles that saw the snow pack on residential areas break down and make many areas nearly impassable.  Streets became dangerously obstructed as people parked their cars outside of windrows, and in many cases Edmonton Transit had to be rerouted because the narrow lanes.

What became patently clear was that changes were needed.  A detailed operational analysis and peer review of our procedures took place, and a number of excellent suggestions were made to improve the way we do our job.

The snow policy has been updated and new equipment purchased to improve residential service, a seasonal parking ban has been created (to be called as conditions require) to help get roads cleared faster, and important adjustments have been made to the way we communicate with citizens about winter road maintenance activities.

There are a number of changes that have been brought into effect for this winter:

  • A seasonal parking ban has been created for residential bus routes. The City of Edmonton will call a ban with a minimum of eight hours notice. At that time, vehicles must be moved from those routes with the ‘Seasonal Parking Ban’ signs; those not moved after the eight hours will be tagged and towed
  • Once priority routes are plowed, crews will move into residential areas to blade to a 5 cm snow pack. Even if there is another snow event that requires additional work on priority routes, crews will NOT be removed from residential areas until the blading cycle has been finished
  • If the snow pack on residential streets cannot be maintained at 5 cm, crews will plow down to bare pavement where required

As important as the changes to the way we do our job are the changes we have made in the way we let citizens know what we are doing.  We will still be sending out announcements through the media and posting them to our website, but we are taking our communications to the next level this year.

Posts are going to be made through the City’s Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep residents up to date on our activities.  In addition, we have introduced a new email notification system that will let subscribers know instantly when a parking ban has been declared/ended, when residential snow maintenance begins and, when spring arrives, when we will begin street sweeping.

Another new feature will mean that when crews begin work in residential areas, citizens will be able to find out exactly when equipment will be moving in.  Through our new interactive map, residents will be able enter and address and find out exactly when crews will start work in a given neighbourhood.

No amount of either equipment or communications can prevent the snow from falling; we do, after all, live in Canada.  Our commitment, however, is that we will keep Edmonton roads in good winter driving condition, and let you know what we are doing and when we are doing it.

To subscribe to the email alerts, to access the interactive road maintenance schedule, or to find out more about winter road activities, please visit


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About the Author
Laura McNabb
Laura has lived and worked in the Alberta Capital Region for just over 20 years, and is currently the Communications Advisor for Transportation/Capital Construction with the City of Edmonton.
  1. […] had to happen sooner or later: we received our first snowfall this weekend. Stay in the know about snow, with the City of Edmonton’s new email notification system and more. Lots of people took photos, […]


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