With winter just around the corner, Hamilton will begin its enhanced sidewalk snow clearing plan that was approved earlier this year. The City of Hamilton currently clears snow from 397 km of the approximately 2,445 km of sidewalks across Hamilton. That number will more than double to 866 kilometers under the new plan. A contractor has submitted a bid to handle all of the clearing for $3.16 Million which leaves $1.28 million in the snow clearing budget for salt, sand and repairs to damaged property.
In August and September of 2020, the city conducted a public engagement exercise to better understand the needs of residents, stakeholders and advisory groups related to sidewalk snow clearing. Further, other municipalities in Canada were contacted about their levels of service and practices.
Snow clearing is activated when accumulation is 5 cm or greater and cleared to a snow packed end condition with de-icing material application when required. In the first year of the plan the additional cost per average household will be $4, rising to $6 in 2023.
When the matter was last debated at council members expressed some concern that even the enhanced service will not meet the needs of elderly residents including persons with mobility issues. The program will not clear snow on sidewalks leading from the house to the city sidewalk and it could result in snow being dumped at the ends of driveways.