West Kelowna snow-plows being kept busy

City says top priority roads will be cleared first and residential streets may have to wait

West Kelowna officials say with the current prolonged snow fall, city plows are expected to be kept busy clearing the top priority roads.

So residents are being asked to help, not hinder, snow clearing efforts and those living on priority 3 roads are being told they can expect a delayed response when clearing those street.

Related story: Kelowna crews ready for winter

Motorists are asked to avoid travel at this time or use extreme caution on roadways.

Residents of West Kelowna can help snow removal efforts by ensuring no vehicles are parked on the street when it is snowing and during clean up efforts, said city spokeswoman Kirsten Jones.

Parked cars force plows to work around them and the plows are unable to clear the road surface to a safe width, narrowing roadways needlessly. There is also additional time spent to maneuver around these vehicles rather than conducting one steady pass with the plow, said Jones.

Cul-de-sacs can become particularly challenging for plows when obstructions are encountered.

Residents are also reminded not to pile snow on roads when clearing their driveways or sidewalks in front of their homes. That snow may not be cleared by plows if the area has already been visited and can cause hazards for motorists.

Snow removal in West Kelowna is conducted on a priority basis. The top priority is clearing arterial and collector roads, transit routes and roads with steep grades. The second priority is school zones, school bus routes, town centres and population centres and the final priority is all other local roads.

During times of heavy and persistent snowfall, road crews must continue to focus on higher priority roads in the municipality, which can lead to a delay in snow removal on local roads.

Residents on priority 3 roads are asked to be patient, these roads will be cleared by plows once all other roads have been cleared.

The plow’s job is to keep the road clear and, without significant disruption in service, it is unable to avoid depositing snow in front of driveways or on sidewalks. To minimize the amount of snow left in front of driveways, residents are asked to shovel snow to the left side (when facing the property).

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