Snow Removal Etiquette: Are You A Good Neighbour?

With the first big snowfall behind us, many residents have already dusted off their shovels, scoops and snow blowers.  While the City clears municipal roads and sidewalks, city residents still bear the weight of clearing private property.  Here are some tips to help you be safe and effective:

Be prepared:

Citizens should ensure you are prepared for winter; have adequate clothing and the right tools to handle snow. Shovels, snow scoops, snow blowers are good options.

Always be aware of your health, as snow shovelling can lead to issues if you have underlying conditions. Plan ahead, hire a contractor with a plow or make arrangements with a friend, family, or neighbour to lend a hand.

Know what to clear:

Citizens are responsible for clearing your own driveways and private sidewalks, as well as clearing windrows left at driveways or sidewalks by municipal plows.

If you are up for it:

You are more than welcome to clear any portion of the municipal sidewalk or catch basins adjacent to your property.  Sidewalk plowing is a high priority; however, the City must plow roads first in order to meet the requirements of the Municipal Act.  Therefore, citizens who opt to clear the sidewalks improve the walkability and accessibility of the neighbourhood – much appreciated!

Know where to put the snow:

When dealing with heavy snowfalls or multiple accumulations, finding a place to put your snow can be a challenge. Have a plan!  Be sure not to push it onto the road, as that causes significant danger to drivers and is against the Highway Traffic Act.

Be wary of creating large snow banks at your driveway entrance, they may create a hazard by blocking your view when exiting. Have an alternate location for your snow – make sure it’s not on your neighbour’s lawn without their permission.

Respect the plow:

Be cautious when encountering a plow.  Do not pass plows when clearing is underway. The majority of snow clearing takes place in the evening and overnight. Have a place for your vehicles to be off the street to make it safe and efficient for snow clearing and avoid the fines or towing.

Submitted by Sharron Hayton,

Customer Service Coordinator, City of Peterborough

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