Monday, Dec. 12, 2016 (Halifax, NS) – The first significant snowfall of the winter season is upon us, and already causing traffic delays and cancellations across the Halifax region.
Municipal winter operations crews worked overnight to salt and apply liquid brine to streets and sidewalks in preparation for today’s storm, which is expected to bring 15 to 20 cm of snow accumulation to our region depending on the location.
Snow began in most areas of the municipality around 9 a.m. and has become heavier throughout the day today. Over 200 pieces of snow clearing and salting equipment are currently at work in all areas, with most now actively engaged in plowing operations as snow accumulation has steadily increased. Although our full fleet is in operation, motorists are advised to be patient and proceed with caution as conditions are slick, particularly in hilly areas and on sharp turns.
We are receiving reports of heavy traffic across the region, with back-ups being seen on both bridge approaches, Magazine Hill, the Bedford Highway, and the Windsor Street Exchange. We remind motorists to adjust driving to winter conditions, leave extra space between you and the other vehicles on the roadway, and prepare for a longer than usual afternoon commute. If possible, the municipality recommends leaving earlier or later than traditional rush hour, to reduce traffic volumes and tie-ups.
The municipality is also requesting that residents ‘think before you park’ today and overnight tonight, and secure off-street parking to assist in our snow clearing efforts. Although the municipal overnight winter parking ban does not go into effect until Dec. 15, vehicles can be ticketed or towed at any time they impede snow clearing operations under section 139 of the Motor Vehicle Act. To avoid a ticket and the hassle and costs of being towed, ask yourself these three questions:
• By parking here, is your car causing a safety issue?
• Is it making the road impassable?
• Is it impeding snow operations underway in the area?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, please don’t park there. We don't want to ticket or tow — the objective is to keep people off the streets in the first place to facilitate efficient and safe clearing to ensure emergency vehicles, buses and other traffic have proper access.
Residents are reminded to move obstructions such as sports equipment, planters, toys, and waste collection bins away from curbs and sidewalks to ensure efficient, safe street and sidewalk snow clearing operations.
Municipal Offices & Services Update
Due to today’s inclement weather, all municipal offices – including the five in-person Customer Service Centres - will close effective immediately for the remainder of the afternoon. All essential services, as well as 311, winter operations and Halifax Transit are maintaining operations and will adjust schedules and staffing resources as necessary due to weather conditions.
Halifax Transit buses are seeing delays on most routes due to increased traffic and slippery conditions in some areas. Follow @hfxtransit on Twitter for up-to-date service delays and snow plan detours throughout the afternoon and evening.
Curbside collection of garbage, recycling, and compost scheduled for today is still underway, however there may be service delays due to current conditions.
For updates on any impacts to recreation programs or services, residents are encouraged to call ahead to their individual facility. For a list of municipally-operated facilities visit www.halifax.ca/rec/reccentres.php.
Several committee and council meetings scheduled to be held today have been cancelled or rescheduled; for the most up-to-date information on municipal meetings visit www.halifax.ca/calendar/index.php.
For the latest on municipal snow cleaning operations during and after a winter weather event, follow us on Twitter @hfxgov or visit www.halifax.ca/snow.
The municipality thanks you in advance for your cooperation. We can’t control Mother Nature, but if we work together we can make this winter season easier on all of us.