15 to 25 centimetres of snow is expected to fall on Monday, December 21, 2020, according to Environment Canada. (Cranbrook Townsman file)

Changes coming for snow removal with new proposed bylaw

A new bylaw under consideration by city council is eyeing changes to snow and ice clearing on sidewalks in the winter months.

The proposed Streets, Traffic and Parking bylaw passed three readings by council on Monday evening, which recommends that residents must remove ice and snow from sidewalks bordering their properties within 24 hours of a snow event.

“We know that the majority of our residents and business owners faithfully clear their sidewalks of snow and ice after snowfalls. We notice and appreciate that very much,” says Derrick Anderson, Director of Public Works. “What this proposed change will do is encourage those who don’t clear their sidewalks to start doing so in order to allow for the mobility of everyone on our sidewalks during the winter.”

Under the existing bylaw, only property owners within a C-1 (Community Commercial) zone must remove snow and ice from bordering sidewalks.

The new proposed bylaw is aimed at more timely clearing of sidewalks and is intended to help with pedestrian flow and clear access to recycling containers through the new curbside collection program.

The city will continue to work with the Canadian Mental Health Association – Kootenays to find volunteers for the Snow Angels program, which utilizes volunteer support to help snow clearing efforts for those who need assistance.

Additionally, the new proposed bylaw also regulates traffic, parking and the use of streets and highways with the city, while also including provisions for pandhandling, complimentary parking meter permits, road occupancy, special event permits, load restrictions, motorized scooters, cyclists, skateboards and more.

It merges two older bylaws —Streets and Traffic bylaw and the Parking Meter bylaw — that were originally created in 1991.