The city is currently conducting a review of the Winter Maintenance Quality Standards (WMQS) for the first time since 2003. The WMQS are approved by Council and their purpose is to provide the city with guidance on when and how the Roads team will address winter weather conditions on roads, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and multi-use pathways to ensure safety for drivers and pedestrians. The standards determine when and where snow clearing, sanding and salting take place, how often, and for how long.
The focus of this project is to maintain the current standards or propose options for increased service levels. This is why it’s important for residents to provide feedback so that the city knows what your priorities are, whether you are happy with current service levels, and, if not, this is an opportunity to share what should be changed.
Since 2003, issues such as climate change, accessibility, sustainability, equity, and healthy living have evolved since the current standards were put in place. More residents rely on OC Transpo and LRT and active transportation methods. These methods of transport require year-round access. The 2021 review will focus on:
- Residential roads
- Cycling pathways
- Multi-use pathways for walking, cycling, and rollerblading
Public Works and Environmental Services will review the WMQS and propose changes based on analysis of current operations, research into best practices in similar municipalities, and develop options for potential changes. These options will be presented at public engagement sessions to gather feedback and identify priorities.
There are various opportunities for you to provide your feedback:
- Via online survey available until February 19th, found here: Winter Maintenance Quality Standards Review | Engage Ottawa
- Four virtual workshops:
- January 25th from 7-9 p.m.
- January 26th from 7-9 p.m.
- January 27th from 7-9 p.m.
- January 28th from 1-3 p.m.
You can register for any of the virtual workshops or find more information here: engage.ottawa.ca/wmqs
- If you need to complete the survey by phone or require other accessibility related accommodations, please call 613-282-2685 for assistance.
In September 2021, a report detailing the feedback, preferences, and options for changes will be shared with the Transportation Committee and City Council in addition to staff’s recommendations. These results with help establish the updated WMQS for future winters.
I encourage you to share your thoughts using any of the options available.