Clearing The Way This Winter

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The Town of Bracebridge provides a high level of winter operations to ensure that residents and visitors can travel safely. Throughout the winter months, the Public Works Department operations staff work diligently to ensure municipal roads, sidewalks, walkways and parking lots remain safe for motorists and pedestrians, in accordance with the Ontario Minimum Maintenance Standards for Ontario Highways. The Department is responsible for winter road patrol, snow plowing, sanding and salting and snow removal carried out by municipally-owned and operated equipment and contractors.

While staff do their best to provide the highest level of customer service, it’s important to remember that with over 319 km of Town and 56 km of sidewalks to care for, winter control can be a challenging task. There are a number of circumstances that can impact snow clearing operations, including:

  • the severity of snow and ice accumulation
  • temperature or forecasts;
  • precipitation;
  • time of day;
  • available resources;
  • motorists trying to pass or following too closely behind snow plows;
  • • vehicles parked on the street or blocking sidewalks.

It is essential to work together as a community when winter weather arrives, to keep roads and sidewalks clear and safe, and to keep people, goods, and services moving. There are some things that residents can do to help staff complete winter operations in a timely and efficient manner.

Overnight Parking

Bracebridge residents and visitors are advised that parking is prohibited on all municipal roadways and parking lots (with the exception of designated 24-hour and 7-day parking spaces in the Hiram Parking Lot), from October 16th to April 15th between the hours of 2:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. Overnight parking restrictions are in place to ensure roads and parking lots are clear to accommodate traffic flow, emergency response vehicles, road maintenance vehicles and snow plows, regardless of the current weather condition or immediate weather forecast. Vehicles obstructing snow clearing operations may be subject to a fine and towed at the owner’s expense.

Sidewalks and Driveways

The Town’s Municipal Servicing By-Law 82-34 requires that owners of every commercial establishment clear the snow from the sidewalk adjacent to their property within four (4) hours after every snow fall. The snow is to be pushed to the edge of the sidewalk where it will eventually be removed by the Town when it reaches a maximum height and/or width. As a courtesy, the Town’s sidewalk plow operator makes one (1) pass on sidewalks in commercial areas to assist these property owners with snow removal.

When clearing snow from your driveway, pile the snow on the right side of the driveway (looking towards the road from driveway). This will reduce the amount of snow pushed back into your driveway when the road is plowed. Also, property owners are responsible for keeping snow banks low at the end of their driveways. Staff understand that windrows (pile of snow left at the bottom of a driveway after a snow plow has cleared the road) can be frustrating for residents. Unfortunately, in order to effectively plow the road, windrows cannot be avoided.

Under Section 181 of the Highway Traffic Act, residents are not allowed to deposit snow on the sidewalk, roadway or across the road. Failure to comply with this provincial legislation may result in a Provincial Offence Notice being issued by the Ontario Provincial Police for a Highway Traffic Act contravention.

Safe Winter Play for Children

Educate children not to climb, play, build snow forts or tunnels in snow banks at the side of streets or in culde-sacs as they could slip and fall into oncoming traffic. Snow banks could also collapse or be pushed down by play equipment during snow clearing operations.

Waste Receptacle Placement

Place collectible materials on the right side of the driveway approximately 1.5 metres (5 feet) from the curbside. The “right” side is the right side of the driveway when standing at the curb facing the road. Avoid placing waste and recycling containers on roadways, boulevards and sidewalks, as they will:

  • block oncoming traffic;
  • prevent snowplows from properly clearing the roadway and sidewalk;
  • create a hazard as they may get struck by vehicles or snowplows;
  • prevent waste materials from being knocked over or buried during snowplowing operations.

Also, avoid placing waste and recycling containers behind or on top of snowbanks to eliminate the potential risk of a dangerous slip or fall. Waste collection items are best put out early in the morning to avoid becoming buried during an overnight snowfall. Waste containers should be retrieved soon after collection. Empty containers are vulnerable to winds and ongoing snowplow operations creating a hazard if knocked into the sidewalk or roadway. Containers should be labelled with addresses so if found, they can be easily returned. Download the custom collection schedule and receive access to updates and notifications via the District Municipality of Muskoka’s mobile app, “Muskoka Recycles”. For more information, visit Waste Management in Muskoka.

Fire Hydrants

If your property abuts a fire hydrant, please help to keep your community safe by clearing a path to and around the hydrant so they are visible and accessible to emergency services personnel at all times. If you are unable to keep the fire hydrant clear or have any questions about hydrant maintenance, contact the District Municipality of Muskoka – Water and Sewer Branch at 705-645-6764.

Mailboxes

Canada Post is responsible for clearing the snow and ice around community mailboxes. If your mailbox is blocked by snow, please contact Canada Post at 705-645-9955. For rural mailboxes, please assist snow plow operators by making sure your mailbox is in a good state of repair and not an obstruction. Review Canada Post Rural Mailbox Guidelines for proper placement and maintenance of mailboxes to meet specifications and road safety criteria before installation.

Visit Town of Bracebridge – Winter Operations, for more information

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