Public Works makes enhancements to winter road operations

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

CITY HALL – There will be a few subtle changes to the way the City of Ottawa’s Public Works and Environmental Services Department (PWESD) maintains the roads this coming winter.

The department’s general manager Kevin Wylie recently updated the city councillors as the PWESD moves in to winter operations in a memo obtained by West Carleton Online yesterday (Nov. 16).

The long document summarized fall and winter operations for the PWSD.

A long section on snow removal operations highlighted some of the improvements the department is implementing in road maintenance this season.

“As part of the MQS review recently undertaken by Roads and Parking Services, residents can expect to see staff using grit, a fine stone product, instead of sand to provide greater traction on roads, sidewalks and the winter cycling network,” Wylie wrote in the memo. “It’s also more easily cleaned up during spring operations. Many plows and loaders will be re-fitted with rubber blades instead of steel ones to provide quieter service and better clearing quality.”

Winter Weather Parking Bans From Nov. 15 to April 1, when Environment Canada forecasts seven centimetres or more of snow or significant ice in the Ottawa area, a winter weather parking ban may be called.

“The ban is called to support winter operations,” Wylie said. “When there are no vehicles on the road, operators can more effectively clear the roads and catch basins of ice and snow.”

New this year, the winter weather parking ban will be called at set times to allow residents to prepare:

  • A call by 9 a.m. for an overnight parking ban; overnight parking bans are from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • A call by 3:30 p.m. for a daytime parking ban; daytime parking bans are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Vehicles without a residential parking permit parked on the street during a winter weather parking ban will be ticketed and towed.

“To support local businesses, a program started last year to allow for paid parking on designated commercial main streets during winter weather parking bans will be continued this winter,” Wylie said.

When an overnight winter parking ban is in effect, the city issues a special advisory to the local media and posts it on 

“Over the past two years, the city has increased the number of available parking alternatives during a winter weather event to include designated park and ride locations and recreation centres, as well as some municipal garages,” Wylie said. “Parking is available at specific times, and residents are responsible for observing the guidelines, or they will have to pay the regular parking rate for their stay. During a severe winter weather event, additional flexibility around winter weather parking bans will be required.”

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