When the snow piles up, Banffites often have a pile of questions. With the first major snow removal day today, the Town wants residents to know about the tools they can use to stay in the know about snow clearing operations.
Parking ban alerts
Firstly, it is critical that residents sign up for notifications about parking bans to allow crews to safely and completely remove windrows of snow from Banff streets. The Voyent tool is the same alert system used for major emergencies such as wildfire, flooding and train derailments. People who sign up at banff.ca/Alerts and place a pin on their home will get a notification before their street has a parking ban. When registering, people choose how they receive notifications – by email, by text, by voice alert to a phone or through an alert on a mobile app. Residents can drop as many pins as they want – one for home, one for work, one for kids’ school – wherever an alert can be helpful.
For those without a phone or computer, signs are still placed on each street where a parking ban will be implemented, about 72 hours before the snow will be removed. Remember, vehicles are not permitted to be parked on a street for more than 72 hours, regardless of snow parking bans, according to the Alberta Traffic Safety Act and local bylaw.
Find more info and sign up at banff.ca/Alerts
Snow clearing priorities and standards
Secondly, residents and businesses can learn about when their street or commute route will get plowed based on their road priority. The map at banff.ca/snow shows the priority of road clearing for all roads in Banff. Crews will move through the priorities in order until complete, however a major snowfall can force crews to return to the high priority routes to start again, to ensure passage of buses, emergency vehicles, transport deliveries and other services on the main arteries, hills and key intersections. This page links to the snow management plan with details on the level of clearing, ice control measures and response times.
Learn more and view road priority map at banff.ca/snow
Thirdly, residents can see where the plows, graders and sanders have been that day and a real-time locator, based on the equipment’s GPS tracker displayed on a map, also linked at banff.ca/snow. The information is refreshed daily and updated with real-time location every five minutes. Click on any arrow for identification of the vehicle and the time it passed that location.
Check out where crews are with Real-Time Locations link at banff.ca/snow
On average, Banff will see fresh snowfall on about 64 days of the year with a total snowfall of about 191 cm (75 inches). As a winter community, roads will generally not be plowed to bare pavement. More plowing also means more buildup of windrows which can block driveways and access roads, and cost more to remove. But when snow piles build up, crews come in to truck the snow out of town. A snow pile is usually still melting in the snow dump in July and August.