According to officials, Toronto is well-prepared to manage snow and ice removal on its roads, sidewalks, and bike lanes during the upcoming winter season. However, there is a hope among some councillors that the contractors won’t encounter the same issues as they did last year.
Toronto’s winter plan
During a press conference held on Monday, Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie presented the city’s winter maintenance plan, which comes with a proposed budget exceeding $100 million and a fleet comprising over 1,400 pieces of snow-clearing equipment.
This array of equipment will be deployed to address approximately 14,700 km of roadways, 7,900 km of sidewalks, and 956 km of separated bike lanes and multi-use trails. Toronto has already initiated the distribution of these snow-clearing vehicles to various locations across the city.
Safety number one priority
“Going into this winter season, I want to assure you that safety is our number one priority. The City of Toronto is prepared for the winter weather that is on the way. It takes time to clear snow and ice from our streets,” Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie said. “Please be patient, lend a hand to your neighbours and give winter maintenance crews space to do their critical work.”
Barbara Gray, general manager of transportation services, emphasized that the city has intensified its commitment to keeping bike lanes clear of snow. Specifically, dedicated bike lanes and multi-use paths will undergo snow removal when the snow accumulation reaches a depth of two centimeters.
“It is our priority to keep everyone moving safely in the manner that they choose this winter. While the amount of time it takes to clear snow and ice changes depending on the weather, you can trust that our crews will respond as soon as it starts to snow and will continue to clear roads, sidewalks and bikeways 24 hours a day, seven days a week until they are clear. We have the right equipment and staff to meet Toronto’s snow clearing service levels to get the job done.”