Sidewalk Snow Removal

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HAVE YOUR SAY

The City of Sarnia is launching its online Sidewalk Snow Removal Survey to help measure and better understand the needs and opinions of residents related to sidewalk snow removal during the winter months.

The City is looking for resident feedback, as we look to update our current policy, in consideration of the impacts to inclusiveness, accessibility, and the financial implications.

Until October 2, 2020 the City of Sarnia is looking for resident input towards the proposed service level changes that are being considered. Results of the public engagement will be presented to Council on October 26, 2020 and next steps will be determined throughout the remainder of 2020.

PROJECT BACKGROUND

The Province of Ontario sets Minimum Maintenance Standards (MMS) for roads that define service levels municipalities must meet. In 2018, the standards were updated to include service levels for winter maintenance of sidewalks.

The City currently plows 168 km out of 328 km (roughly half) of the sidewalks throughout Sarnia including sidewalks on major transportation routes and school routes. Current By-Law requires commercial properties to maintain the sidewalk adjacent to their properties in major commercial areas and the downtown core. The active policy, along with a map of the currently maintained sidewalks can be reviewed by following the links below;


There are three potential scenarios being discussed regarding the level of service for winter sidewalk maintenance in Sarnia:

Scenario 1 -Maintain Current Practice of Declaring Some Sidewalks Closed

  • Continue operating within the current budget and declare the unmaintained sidewalks as closed during the winter
  • When a sidewalk is closed, no winter maintenance is performed on that section
  • Notification of the sidewalks that are closed is currently provided by a map attached to the By-Law (above)
  • With 160 km of sidewalk not being plowed, it is not feasible to install signage and barricades at each sidewalk to provide notification of the closure
  • Leaving half of the City sidewalks unmaintained does not support active transportation or accessibility
  • No staff increase, or direct impact to current operating costs

Scenario 2 - City of Sarnia Maintains All Sidewalks

  • City uses a combination of increased staff, equipment and contractors to maintain all city sidewalks
  • All city sidewalks are cleared within 48 hours following a winter storm event
  • City is able to improve active transportation and accessibility during winter months
  • Residents do not perform winter maintenance on the sidewalk adjacent to their property
  • May be unfavorable to residents who do not have sidewalk frontage
  • Increases future maintenance and life-cycle operations costs for the City
  • As a high level estimate, this increase in service level could increase the average annual property tax bill by 1%, or approximately $30, for the average single detached home to pay for the additional resources required

Scenario 3 - By-Law Revision Requiring Adjacent Property Owner to Maintain the Sidewalk

  • Residents would be required, though By-Law revision to maintain sidewalk adjacent to their property according to the maintenance standards
  • A set schedule of fines would be proposed to ensure compliance and can be executed through By-Law Enforcement with no increase to the current Staff compliment. This By-Law is already in place for the downtown and main commercial areas around the City.
  • May be unfavorable to those who are unable to complete the maintenance requirement on their own
  • New community assistance programs would be required for those who are physically unable to maintain their frontage
  • Existing programs would also be supported to expand
  • The current service level and budget could potentially be decreased to have the City maintain only the sidewalks with no adjacent property owner fronting the sidewalk
  • This is the most common approach across communities in Ontario and the most cost effective option

Please take a moment to review the information available on this page and participate in our accompanying survey. If you have any questions related to the above, or to discuss this topic please contact Alister Brown, Manager of Development and Transportation.


SPEAK UP

HAVE YOUR SAY

The City of Sarnia is launching its online Sidewalk Snow Removal Survey to help measure and better understand the needs and opinions of residents related to sidewalk snow removal during the winter months.

The City is looking for resident feedback, as we look to update our current policy, in consideration of the impacts to inclusiveness, accessibility, and the financial implications.

Until October 2, 2020 the City of Sarnia is looking for resident input towards the proposed service level changes that are being considered. Results of the public engagement will be presented to Council on October 26, 2020 and next steps will be determined throughout the remainder of 2020.

PROJECT BACKGROUND

The Province of Ontario sets Minimum Maintenance Standards (MMS) for roads that define service levels municipalities must meet. In 2018, the standards were updated to include service levels for winter maintenance of sidewalks.

The City currently plows 168 km out of 328 km (roughly half) of the sidewalks throughout Sarnia including sidewalks on major transportation routes and school routes. Current By-Law requires commercial properties to maintain the sidewalk adjacent to their properties in major commercial areas and the downtown core. The active policy, along with a map of the currently maintained sidewalks can be reviewed by following the links below;


There are three potential scenarios being discussed regarding the level of service for winter sidewalk maintenance in Sarnia:

Scenario 1 -Maintain Current Practice of Declaring Some Sidewalks Closed

  • Continue operating within the current budget and declare the unmaintained sidewalks as closed during the winter
  • When a sidewalk is closed, no winter maintenance is performed on that section
  • Notification of the sidewalks that are closed is currently provided by a map attached to the By-Law (above)
  • With 160 km of sidewalk not being plowed, it is not feasible to install signage and barricades at each sidewalk to provide notification of the closure
  • Leaving half of the City sidewalks unmaintained does not support active transportation or accessibility
  • No staff increase, or direct impact to current operating costs

Scenario 2 - City of Sarnia Maintains All Sidewalks

  • City uses a combination of increased staff, equipment and contractors to maintain all city sidewalks
  • All city sidewalks are cleared within 48 hours following a winter storm event
  • City is able to improve active transportation and accessibility during winter months
  • Residents do not perform winter maintenance on the sidewalk adjacent to their property
  • May be unfavorable to residents who do not have sidewalk frontage
  • Increases future maintenance and life-cycle operations costs for the City
  • As a high level estimate, this increase in service level could increase the average annual property tax bill by 1%, or approximately $30, for the average single detached home to pay for the additional resources required

Scenario 3 - By-Law Revision Requiring Adjacent Property Owner to Maintain the Sidewalk

  • Residents would be required, though By-Law revision to maintain sidewalk adjacent to their property according to the maintenance standards
  • A set schedule of fines would be proposed to ensure compliance and can be executed through By-Law Enforcement with no increase to the current Staff compliment. This By-Law is already in place for the downtown and main commercial areas around the City.
  • May be unfavorable to those who are unable to complete the maintenance requirement on their own
  • New community assistance programs would be required for those who are physically unable to maintain their frontage
  • Existing programs would also be supported to expand
  • The current service level and budget could potentially be decreased to have the City maintain only the sidewalks with no adjacent property owner fronting the sidewalk
  • This is the most common approach across communities in Ontario and the most cost effective option

Please take a moment to review the information available on this page and participate in our accompanying survey. If you have any questions related to the above, or to discuss this topic please contact Alister Brown, Manager of Development and Transportation.


SPEAK UP