Kitchener Snow-Clearing Pilot Program Approved for Winter

Snow-removal pilot programs will take to the sidewalks of Kitchener this winter to solve neighborhood blockage problems.

Kitchener City Council held a vote on whether to test five options for snow-removal. They determined two of the choices would be incorporated using a newly increased budget.

Bylaws on snow-removal regulations will be enforced more heavily, and funding has an expansion planned from $25,000 to $75,000 to secure help to those not able to clear their sidewalks.

Incapable parties include those with disabilities and seniors who cannot afford private contractors to plow their property.

The Kitchener bylaw states that within 24 hours after a snowfall, all snow must be cleared from sidewalks. This is often impossible for those considered handicapped in this manner.

This assistance program for those in need is meant to help ensure the Kitchener bylaw requirements can be met. Additional Kitchener snow removal information can be found on the city website.

An extended version of this project was initially suggested. It outlined an initiative to clear a 1,500-home area whenever there is 8 cm of snow, then rotate to a different area at each recording of snowfall. Sensors would have been installed to create an online platform showing live sidewalk status.

The year prior, this snow-removal initiative was not approved by the council, but had the support of the infrastructure committee.

Snow clearing has been reported as a problem in Kitchener, but no real reform has been passed to solve the issue. The Ward 1 Councillor Scott Davey told 570 News he had worries this program would prove what everyone knows- snow and ice removal is difficult in the area and a much larger reform needs completed.

“The problem I have here is that we are not piloting something that has never been done,” Davey said, “There are several other municipalities that have the different levels of service already in existence that we are looking at.”

Snowfall blocking sidewalks affects the entire neighbor negatively. One unattended patch of sidewalk can interfere with the path to the convenience store, or showings for houses for sale in Kitchener.

Inspection of all pedestrian passageways will be ongoing, so notification will be given to homeowners with unfit sidewalks to correct the issue.

All information noted from the approved pilot projects will be examined in May 2020 by the committee. Priority sidewalks will be pinpointed by the creation of a city map.