Some pathways to be cleared of snow this winter

In a bid to help residents stay active and explore their community this winter, the City of Markham is launching a new program that will see one pedestrian pathway in each of its eight wards cleared of snow, salted and sanded.

“We recognize that families will be spending more time at home this winter due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we are pleased to offer the Pathway Winter Maintenance program that will enable residents to venture out for some fresh air, while adhering to physical distancing,” Mayor Frank Scarpitti says.

The following is a list of pathways that will be cleared: Ward 1 (Royal Orchard Park from Kirk Drive to Royal Orchard Boulevard), Ward 2 (Ashton Meadow Park from Calvert Road to Rachel Crescent), Ward 3 (Quantztown Park from Carlton Road to Houndsbrook Crescent), Ward 4 (Robinson Park from Lincoln Green Drive to Robinson Street), Ward 5 (Nicholas Miller Park from Appleview Road to Alfred Paterson Drive), Ward 6 (John Baird Woods Park from Mingay Avenue to Prebble Drive), Ward 7 (Featherstone Park from Middlefield Road to Featherstone Avenue) and Ward 8 (Milliken Mills Park from Milliken Meadows Drive to Milliken Mills Community Centre).

A gravel pathway in Milne Dam Conservation Park that roughly runs from inside the McCowan Road gate to the east end of the parking lot will also be included as part of the pilot project, which is a result of the 2019 Winter Maintenance Council Review. Residents can share their feedback on www.yourvoicemarkham.ca/Winter. The Operations team will present findings to council for review and recommendation in 2021.

Markham uses weather monitoring technology and science-based practices to monitor roads before, during and after bad weather to adjust to conditions and to ensure public safety. Brine, salt and sand are used to prevent roads from becoming icy. Salt is only effective at temperatures of -12 degrees Celsius and above. The City’s Salt Management Plan promotes environmentally-friendly salt use, storage and transportation. Its Operations crew of 241 personnel are on standby around the clock and its fleet includes 46 snowplows, 32 salt trucks and 53 sidewalk plows.

Snow clearing starts with arterial or primary roads that connect critical services such as hospitals, ambulance, fire stations, police and GO stations when snow reaches three centimetres deep. Once clear, those main roads allow plows to reach secondary roads that serve schools, libraries, community centres, industrial and commercial areas.

Finally, the plows can reach local roads and lanes, which are usually residential areas. Road plowing there starts at the end of the snowfall when snow reaches 7.5 centimetres and is usually complete within 12 to 16 hours following the end of a snowfall. Sidewalk plowing begins when snow reaches five centimetres deep and is completed within 24 hours following the end of a snowfall. If you don’t see plows immediately after a snowfall, check the Winter Maintenance App at markham.ca/Winter to find out their status.

You can help protect your property and keep everyone safe by clearing snow away from fire hydrants and catch basins if you can do so safely and piling snow from your driveway onto the right side (when facing the road) of your driveway so less snow is piled on your driveway by the plow as it passes your home.

Push snow away from the street, as pushing it onto the street makes it unsafe for drivers and pedestrians and is also illegal. Park on the odd- numbered side of the street from November 15 to April 15. In the event of a snowfall, you must remove your parked car from the road even if you have a permit. Plows are too big to squeeze past parked cars, delaying snow clearing for everyone. Markham’s Snow Windrow Removal Assistance Program is designed to help disabled and elderly residents maintain road access from their driveways during the winter season.

Photo: The City of Markham’s Operation crews maintain and clear a network of more than 2,100 kilometres of road and more than 1,100 kilometres of sidewalks. This winter, eight pedestrian pathways will also be cleared.

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