S’no removal: Snow on local Saskatoon streets could simply be left to melt

Click to play video: 'Snowy Saskatoon streets frustrate residents' Snowy Saskatoon streets frustrate residents
WATCH: This year's combination of freeze-thaw and loads of snow has made for a mess on Saskatoon roads – Feb 9, 2022

Even after a few days of mild weather, some Saskatoon residential streets are covered in snow.

Sometimes, as Global News can attest, the snow is so deep a sedan bottoms out when driving in the ruts.

But the City of Saskatoon isn’t planning on clearing them.

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According to the city’s website, removing snow from residential and local streets is not in the budget. The site says removing snow from those streets may be required just before the spring melt if the snow is 15 cm thick.

In a statement to Global News, the city’s director of roadways Goran Saric said the current average snowpack depth is less than 15 cm thick.

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Were it deeper than that, the statement says, the snow “would be stored in piles in the parking lane and would not be removed.”

When a lot of snow falls in Saskatoon, city workers prioritize removing snow from freeways and the busiest streets first, like Circle Drive and Idylwyld Drive.

They then move on to arterial streets, like Millar Avenue, followed by collector streets, school zones and remaining business improvement district streets.

“For as long as anyone on our road maintenance team can remember there hasn’t been city-wide snow removal in the regular budget,” roadways manager Tracey Danielson said in a YouTube video posted to the city’s account in January.

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That changed during the November 2020 blizzard, she said, “but in a normal winter, hiring contractors for snow removal is not in the budget allocated to winter road maintenance.”

“November 2020 … was a one-time effort in response to a major snowstorm that meant that most people in Saskatoon couldn’t drive around.”

In the statement, Saric said the city monitors snowpack on several streets and invites residents to report streets with severe rutting that could cause damage to a vehicle or property to the city’s customer care centre.

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