Snow clearing

Quesnel Snow Removal

The City is responsible for the plowing, sanding and clearing of snow on streets within the City of Quesnel boundaries. Emcon Services maintain the highway, including exits and entrances.

Over recent years, our local winter weather has changed. In the past, Quesnel received snow throughout the entire winter, making snow removal a simple process. Now, Quesnel receives the majority of snow in single snow events. The snow events last days, making it extremely difficult to keep up with snow removal. This means it can take up to 6 days to clean all City roads, but only when the snowfall has ended, and no other snow events have started. 

There may be times when we ask the public not to travel because the roads are not passible. Please watch the City’s website or facebook page to receive updates.

Priority Route

The priority route are the first roads to be cleared of snow and to be sanded. This route is maintained throughout the winter season.

Priority Route

Areas covered

  • Main arterial roads
  • Priority hills
  • Bus routes
  • Schools

Timing

  • First pass complete within 12 hours after the snowfall has ended.
  • Continued service throughout the winter season
Areas

The rest of the snow removal is based on areas and each area is serviced by different types of equipment. Find your area below:

Area One | Johnston and Carson Subdivisions

Areas covered

  • Johnston Subdivision
  • Carson Subdivision

Timing

  • First pass complete within 48 hours (2 days) after the snowfall has ended.
Area Two | Downtown, North Quesnel, Two Mile Flat

Areas covered

  • Downtown
  • North Quesnel
  • Two Mile Flat

Timing

  • Downtown and North Quesnel first pass complete within 72 hours (3 days) after snowfall has ended.
  • Two Mile Flat first pass complete within 120 hours (5 days) after the snowfall has ended.
  • Front St and Carson Ave may exceed the 72 hour service window.
Area Three | West Quesnel - east of Baker Creek

Areas covered

  • West Quesnel - all roads east of Baker Creek.

Timing

  • First pass complete within 72 hours (3 days) after the snowfall has ended.
Area Four | West Quesnel - west of Baker Creek, north of Anderson

Areas covered

  • West Quesnel - all roads west of Baker Creek AND north of Anderson Drive.

Timing

  • First pass complete within 48 hours (2 days) after the snowfall has ended.
Area Five | West Quesnel - west of Baker Creek, south of Anderson

Areas covered

  • West Quesnel - all roads west of Baker Creek AND south of Anderson Drive

Timing

  • First pass complete within 144 hours (6 days) after the snowfall has ended
Area Six | South Quesnel

Areas covered

  • South Quesnel

Timing

  • First pass complete within 24 hours (1 day) after the snowfall has ended
Driveway Clearing

Driveway entrances are only cleared when a minimum of 4 inches (10 cm) of snow has fallen. Learn more below:

Driveways

Driveway entrances are only cleared when a minimum of 4 inches (10 cm) of snow has fallen. Driveways opposite a sidewalk may receive entrance clearing below that minimum because they receive snow from the entire roadway.

Only a portion of the snow at the driveway entrance will be cleared to make the entrance passable. The entrance will NOT be cleared of all snow.

Expect a two-hour delay from when the street is plowed and when your driveway entrance will be cleared. Please watch the weather and plan for delays. Priority is NOT given to people with medical appointments, work priorities or other non-emergency appointments.

Due to budget constraints, not all snow banks at the end of driveways can be removed. Although we do not guarantee snow bank removal, here are the top priorities:

  1. Intersections and stop signs
  2. Driveways opposite sidewalks

Driveway access in laneways are NOT cleared.

Walkway entrances are NOT cleared.

Laneways

Laneways are only cleared after all other snow removal is complete and no other snow events have begun.

Driveway access in laneways are NOT cleared.

Sidewalks

Although the City works hard to clear and sand sidewalks, you need to wear proper footwear that is meant for snowy and icy conditions.

Residential

Residents are responsible for clearing ice and snow from sidewalks adjacent to their property within 24 hours following a snow or ice event. (Comprehensive Street, Traffic and Parking Bylaw No. 1773 Part V Section 11)

City crews do clear sidewalks but may be delayed during weather events. The first pass can take up to 48 hours (2 days) to complete after snowfall has ended.

Walkway entrances are NOT cleared.

Businesses and Property Owners

Downtown sidewalks in front of and adjacent to your business/property must be cleared of snow and ice and sufficient traction applied by 10 am every morning, regardless of business operating hours. This bylaw is in place to allow accessibility and safe access to not only your business but all businesses in the downtown core.

To assist with this, the City of Quesnel has sand available in three City parking lots:

  • Corner of Barlow and Mclean (Willis Harper),
  • Corner of Reid and St. Laurent Avenue (Spirit Square),
  • Corner of Kinchant & Barlow (Legion).

This sand is available as a courtesy, but shouldn’t be relied on as your only source to provide traction.

Bylaw officers will inspect the sidewalks to determine that sufficient cleaning and traction has been applied. If a sidewalk requires maintenance, a city crew will bring the sidewalk to compliance. The minimum cost of a city crew is $100 per occurrence and will escalate depending on size of the sidewalk and service required. If the cost incurred by the City remains unpaid by December 31 of the same year, it will be added to the property tax.

To ensure this avoidable fee isn’t applied to your property, please ensure that all your contact information is up to date and that you or your tenant, sufficiently clear your portions of the sidewalk daily. With rising Liability claims, clean sidewalks will help keep the downtown core safe and accessible for all of our residents.

There are many types of traction control that is approved for use on City sidewalks. 

View traction control list

If you have any questions or want to be sure that your emergency contact information is up to date, please contact the Bylaw office at 250-992-2111 or bylaw@quesnel.ca.

Trails
Trails

Trails in the City are plowed when the sidewalks have been cleared. Although the City works hard to clear and sand our downtown trail system, you need to wear proper footwear that is meant for snowy and icy conditions.

Street Parking

Please ensure your vehicles are not parked on the street. 

Parking

Vehicles parked on the street do the following:

  • Create a hazard for drivers and snow equipment
  • Slows the snow removal crews
  • Create hazards when the vehicle is removed. Snow has not been removed from that area of the road which may damage passing vehicles and cause pedestrians to walk around in the roadway.

Unlicensed vehicles are prohibited from being parked on the road right-of-way.

Walkways

The City does not clear entrances to walkways on private property.

Property Markers
Property markers

In mid-October, property owners can have up to four FREE snow markers to mark obstacles on their property. These markers help ensure snow equipment avoid hitting retaining walls, fencing etc. Snow may still be placed in that area. Remember to maintain the visibility of your markers after each snowfall to ensure our drivers can see them all winter.

Public Works Office, 21 Johnston Loop

Types of road clearing
ROADS WITHOUT SIDEWALKS (TWO-WAY)
  • Snow is cleared to both sides of the street
  • Driveway entrances are cleared when a minimum of 4 inches of snow has fallen.
ROADS WITH ONE SIDEWALK (ONE-WAY)
  • Snow is cleared off the sidewalk onto the roadway. All of the snow is then cleared to the opposite side of the road.
  • Driveway entrances opposite the sidewalk may receive clearing below the 4-inch minimum because they receive snow from the entire roadway and sidewalk.
ROADS WITH SIDEWALKS ON BOTH SIDES (WINDROW)
  • Snow is cleared from the sidewalks into the middle of the street creating a windrow. The snow is then loaded into trucks using a snowblower.
Ice control
Ice control

The City uses sand mixed with 1% salt for ice control on roadways, sidewalks and trails.

Although the City works hard to clear and sand roads, sidewalks and trails, it is extremely important that your vehicle have proper snow tires and to wear proper footwear that is meant for snowy and icy conditions.

Snow caves
Snow caves

It’s extremely dangerous for children to play near or on snowbanks near the roadway. Snow removal equipment work throughout the winter, even when it’s not snowing. Please do not allow children to create snow caves or play on snowbanks. Our drivers cannot see if there are children in or around the snow banks.

Frequently asked questions
Why didn’t they clear all of the snow from my driveway entrance?

We only clear a portion of the snow from your driveway entrance. Driveway clearing is meant to make it passable, not to remove all of the snow from the entrance.

Why wasn’t my driveway entrance cleared?

There may be a few reasons:

  1. Driveway entrances are not cleared when the accumulated snowfall is less than 4-inches.
  2. It may take up to two-hours from when the street is plowed and when your driveway entrance will be cleared.
  3. Driveway entrances are not cleared if a sand truck cleared the road.
  4. If your neighbour's driveway entrance has been cleared, you may have been missed. Please contact Public Works for more information at 250-992-6330.
I have an appointment, can they clear my driveway now?

Unfortunately, the driveway clearing follows the snow removal equipment and we are unable to change these routes.

Who clears all of the winter sand from my yard?

The City does NOT clear any winter sand from private property. In the spring, please sweep sand onto the roadway where the street sweeper will pick it up.

I’m a senior, who can help me with snow removal on my property?

You may choose to hire a private contractor or ask your friends, family and neighbours for help.

You may qualify for extra help through Better At Home. Please contact them directly at 250-992-9156.

Where do they measure the amount of snow on the ground?

The Public Works Superintendent measures the accumulated snow at the Public Works Office.

There is snow in the forecast, why doesn’t the equipment start now?

Apart from sanding, the City has to wait until the snow accumulates on the ground before they can start their snow removal operations.

Why wasn’t my walkway entrance was not cleared of snow?

The City does not clear walkway entrances of snow.