Burlington looks at options to clear the snow that blocks driveways


Published April 21, 2023 at 9:18 am

Windrows Burlington snow winter

Burlington is looking for solutions to prevent the snow from piling up at the end of your driveway after the plows pass.

Council this week approved a plan to explore the costs and options for an enhanced city-wide program to remove the snow.

The move comes in response to numerous complaints from residents that the snow — referred to as windrows — blocks driveways and makes it difficult for vehicles to get in and out forcing a lot of extra shovelling.

“The Mayor’s and Councillors’ offices have received a significant volume of complaints from residents about windrow clearing this year, partly due to the wet and heavy snow creating large chunks at the end of driveways when the plow has passed,” said Mayor Marianne Meed Ward after the City decided to deal with the problem. “Residents have shared that the size and weight of the windrows made it difficult if not impossible to leave their homes as they were blocked in and unable to easily remove the windrows.”

Under current City operations, windrow clearing is provided to those who are physically unable to clear the snow themselves. The current program is limited to 175 homes and occasionally delivered to 200 residents under special circumstances. A fee may apply.

A motion approved by councillors will be to possibly increase the number of eligible homes to 500 and to consider other options. One such option, one that other municipalities are looking at, is the purchase of equipment that clears windrows after plows go through the streets.

“By asking staff to provide costs and options related to enhanced windrow clearing, council will be able to make an informed choice about which options are most feasible and include any associated costs or revenues in the 2024 budget,” reads a City report on the matter. “This will respond to community input asking for additional research around what can be done to improve windrow clearing.”

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