Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014 (Halifax, NS) – With the winter season right around the corner, the Halifax Regional Municipality is encouraging residents to start preparing now, before the snowy weather hits.
Last winter was one of the worst in the Halifax region in a decade. With more than 20 storms, some of them full-out blizzards, crews were kept busy keeping our streets and sidewalks clear of snow and ice so we were safe to travel.
Did you know that that every time it snows, our municipal and contracted crews are responsible for clearing 3,800 lane kilometres of roads? Stretched end to end, that’s the same distance as driving from Halifax to Winnipeg. On top of that, crews also clear close to 1,000 kilometres of sidewalks and walkways and 3,600 bus stops. That’s a lot of ground to cover.
Some damage during clearing operations is unfortunately unavoidable, particularly when there is a lot of snow on the ground, visibility is bad or in older neighbourhoods that have narrower sidewalks. But there are some simple steps that everyone can take to help protect your property and ensure clearing goes as safely and smoothly as possible:
- Trim any tree branches and shrubs that originate from your property. These can obstruct access and visibility for snow-clearing equipment.
- Remove planters, lawn decorations and any other portable objects near the sidewalk before the winter.Items like sports equipment that may still be used should be safely stored when bad weather is in the forecast.
- Mark any permanent structures or objects too big to move with a reflector that will be visible above the snow. This helps crews identify obstacles.
Preparing your property also means preparing your vehicles. This is the time of year when motorists should consider tires that have better traction for winter driving. Make an appointment now to change your tires, before you get caught in that first storm. It’s also a good idea to carry a winter survival kit in your vehicle when travelling during the winter months.
Finally, residents who require off-street parking during the winter should start looking into options now. Vehicles that hang over or are parked on the sidewalk or street during a storm are prone to damage and become a dangerous obstacle for clearing crews.
The overnight winter parking ban will be in effect from Dec. 15, 2014, to March 31, 2015. Like last season, it will be enforced only during declared snow and ice events, from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. Those in violation of the ban can be ticketed or towed.
The easiest way to stay informed is to sign up for notifications.Residents can also email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 311. For those who signed up last season, you will continue to receive notifications when the ban will be enforced.
Residents who subscribe will receive timely messages by phone, email, and/or text message, throughout the winter season, about the status of overnight winter parking bans in the Halifax region. As well, the municipality shares regular updates on the parking ban and other snow-related information on its online snow page and via Twitter at @hfxgov. Residents can also call 311 with questions or concerns.
Please remember that winter safety is a shared responsibility. By working together, we can ensure that we’re all better prepared for whatever this winter may bring.