© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
A City of Charlottetown plow clears Spring Park Road last winter after a major blizzard left more than 70 centimetres of snow on the ground. The city's winter parking restrictions go into effect on Sunday, Nov. 15 and exist to allow snow-clearing and de-icing equipment to work more efficiently.
The City of Charlottetown assures downtown businesses it is equipped to handle whatever winter has in store.
Public works manager Paul Johnston and chief administrative officer Donna Waddell attended an information session in regards to snow removal hosted by Downtown Charlottetown Inc. (DCI) on Tuesday.
Waddell went over the snow removal plan with business representatives.
When it comes to moving snow, the city’s strategy depends on a number of factors, including how much snow falls, how long it lasts, the day of week it happens and the time of day when it ends.
The first priority is getting the streets open and keeping them open.
Then, for example, if there are classes the next day schools would be considered a priority.
Waddell said the city is trying to do better at communicating with businesses and the public.
Last year, the city began informing the public what areas it anticipated its equipment would be in.
The city has also set up a Know About Snow button on its website where people can subscribe to free alerts for the same information.
Johnston said crews work as fast as they can but in cases such as last winter, where a record amount of snow fell over the final two months of winter, he realizes fast may not be fast enough for business owners.
He asked business owners to try and keep the sidewalk in front of their business free of snow and ice and, in exceptional circumstances, if they have to pile snow temporarily out front so customers can get from parking spots to the business not to pile it in disabled parking zones.
City council has also agreed to spend more.
An extra $500,000 earmarked for snow clearing equipment has been going into the capital budget on an annual basis and this year council agreed to spend another $500,000, a one-time expense, to upgrade that equipment, including the purchase of two new sidewalk blowers.
Rachel Hope with Dyne Holdings, which owns the Shops of Confederation Court Mall, said last winter was particularly challenging.
Parking spaces have to be cleared for customers but they need space to be able to move the snow before the city comes and trucks it away.
Dawn Alan, executive director of DCI, said it’s been “a real eye opener’’ to have conversations with the city about it’s plan.
Alan added that DCI’s website has been trying to communicate information such as the need for businesses to keep their sidewalks clean.