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When the snow flies, the City works hard to keep Edmonton’s streets safe. But citizens have a role to play too. Find out more about how the City responds to snow on major roads and in your neighbourhood.


Will bike lanes be cleared?

Bike lanes are cleared at the same time as the closest street. The downtown bike network is cleared within 24 hours of the end of a snowfall.

When it starts snowing, how do City crews respond?

The first response to all snowfalls is sanding of the main roads and bus routes. Plowing starts when 3 cm of snow has accumulated on the main roads and the weather forecast calls for continued snowfall.

How does the City prioritize roads for winter road maintenance?

Winter road maintenance is done on a roadway priority basis in the following order listed in Policy C409.

  1. Freeways, arterial roads, business districts and bus routes
  2. Collector/bus routes
  3. Local industrial roadways
  4. Residential streets, alleys
Is there a schedule that shows when each of the main roads are being plowed?

You can track plowing progress on priority routes (arterial roads and collector/bus routes) on the major roads plowing map at The map is activated when approximately 10 cm of snow has accumulated on Edmonton roads. When active, the map is updated three times daily at 6am, 3pm, and midnight.

Where does all the snow go?

Snow that gets removed from roads is trucked to one of four snow storage sites.

Why can’t I toss the snow from my walkway/sidewalk/driveway onto the road?

This action violates municipal bylaws, contributes to unsafe driving and walking conditions, increases the cost of providing winter road maintenance and can lead to blocked storm drains. If you do not have room for snow on your property, you can haul it to one of four approved snow storage facilities in Edmonton free of charge.

What can I do to help?
  • Clear your sidewalk as soon as possible
  • Work with your neighbours to keep sidewalks clear
  • Move your cars off the street during parking bans and residential blading
  • Keep your waste collection areas free of snow and ice


When does the City blade neighbourhood roads?

Neighbourhood blading begins once a 5 cm snow pack has formed. Once implemented, neighbourhood blading operates on a weekly schedule. Roads are bladed to a level snow pack of about 5 cm.

How will I know when crews will be clearing my neighbourhood?

Neighbourhood blading will be on a set day for each area between Monday and Friday. Find your “snow day” at or call 311.

If crews are unable to complete areas on their assigned day then they will return the following week on the same scheduled blading day to complete work. Crews do not blade residential roads over the weekend.

Will the plows clear all the snow in neighbourhoods?

In neighbourhoods, truck plows blade the snow to a level snow pack. The windrows will not be removed unless they are more than 30 cm high and they block a driveway. Removing all windrows during every blading cycle would require vast increases in manpower, equipment and time. The volume of snow would also exceed the capacity of our snow storage sites.

Will back alleys be cleared?

Back alleys are the same priority as residential roads and are not bladed until all the higher priority roads are completed. 

For roads that are adjacent to collector/bus routes (where the Seasonal Parking Ban is implemented), alleys will be bladed the night prior to the start of the parking ban so that residents have access to their rear garages/parking sites. For residential roads, alleys will be bladed on the same day that the roads are bladed.

If it snows again while they are working in my neighbourhood, will they pull the equipment out so that they can work on the main roads instead?

Crews will endeavour to continue residential blading operations even in the event of additional snowfall. If snow accumulation is heavy and requires an immediate response on main Priority 1 and 2 roads, crews may be re-allocated to ensure these priority routes are safe and reliable. Crews would return to residential blading once the Priority 1 and 2 roads are clear.

How do I report snow and ice blocking a catch basin?

Please call 311 or use the 311 app to report a blocked catch basin.


How will I know when a seasonal parking ban is in effect?

You can find information about parking bans:

  • On
  • On the City of Edmonton Facebook and Twitter pages
  • On roadside digital messaging boards
  • On ETS buses
  • In local media

Seasonal parking bans go into effect with at least 8 hours notice.

What’s the fine for violating a parking ban?

The fine for violating a parking ban is $100. Vehicles may also be tagged and towed, and the owner is responsible for impound fees.

Where should I park?

Residents are encouraged to do their part by not parking on the road or next to windrows. Keeping your vehicle off of the road gives our crews space to blade down snow on more narrow residential roads.

Residents must not shovel any snow onto the roadway. As stated in Part III - Sidewalks and Boulevards, section 48 Materials on Sidewalks/Roadways of  Traffic bylaw 5590:

If you live on a Seasonal 'No Parking' Route, your vehicle must be moved when a ban is declared and stay off of the route until such time as the ban has been lifted.

Can I park in front of my house after crews have worked on the road?

If there are windrows left at the curbside, please clear a spot for yourself so your car does not obstruct traffic. Narrowing the road by parking cars far from the curb can obstruct transit and emergency services. If your vehicle obstructs traffic, you may be tagged and towed.

What happens when a car is parked on the road and plows are coming into a neighbourhood?

You can check our online Neighbourhood Blading Schedule for up-to-date scheduling information. Message signs will also be located throughout the City to keep residents informed.

If a car is not moved when plows arrive, we will plow around it, leaving it behind a windrow. If a grader cannot access the road, we will move the car. We will not leave the road unplowed.

I have an authorized handicapped spot in front of my house. Do I have to move my car during seasonal parking bans?

No, you don’t have to move your car, but it will help crews to do a quality job. Please call 311 so roadways staff are informed of your situation.

Can the City ban parking in neighbourhoods?

In extreme situations, it may be necessary to declare a total parking ban so that crews can move effectively and efficiently through neighbourhoods. Should this happen, the same protocols for declaring a bus route parking ban will apply and enforcement will take place to maintain the safety and mobility of Edmontonians.

What if I don't have a place to park?

Even if you generally park on the street during the winter, you should move your car to an alternate location while crews are blading in your area. Please don't park beside a windrow as this obstructs traffic and limits accessibility for vehicles, transit and emergency vehicles.


Will the City sand the roads?

The City sands roads and walkways as required with sanding trucks and sidewalk plows that operate as needed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from October to April.

What’s in the sand mix?

The sand mix is a mixture of sand, salt, rock chips (which are being phased out of the mix) and calcium chloride. Edmonton is one of the lowest salt users of Canada’s major cities - salt accounts for only 12 to 18% of the materials applied to the roads annually.

What makes street sand such a dark colour?

The City uses a combination of sand-salt on roads to improve traction and melt snow and ice. The ratio of each differs depending on the conditions, and leads to variations in colour. 

Salt used in the winter traction sand mix is pink because of small amounts of potassium chloride and traces of iron content. When combined with the sand (which also has iron), we then get a brown colour. Also, during low temperatures, we pre-wet our sand mix with liquid calcium chloride, which makes the mix look even darker. 

Our sand is actually a very clean sand (less than 4% fines). The darker colour might make it look dirty, but its appearance does not take away from the effectiveness.

How can I get a community sandbox at my community league?

Contact your community league directly and request the sandbox service. The community league can then contact the City to get a sandbox. It’s the league’s responsibility to keep the sandbox full.

Alternatively, individuals can pick up free sand from each of the City’s roadway maintenance yards.


What is a windrow?

A windrow is a pile of snow on the side of road that was created by snow plowing equipment. Windrows that block driveways and are higher than approximately 30 cm are cleared by the City. 


Will the City be collecting the snow piled up in windrows?

The City will be clearing windrows where required from:

  • Arterial and collector roads
  • Bus routes
  • Schools
  • Senior centres
  • Cul-de-sacs when excessive snow volumes make it necessary

On roads designated with the Seasonal Parking ban, smaller equipment will be working with the graders to open up driveway entrances but there may be delays.

In neighbourhoods, windrows will not be removed but plows will minimize the height of windrows at driveway entrances. As these windrows can restrict on-street parking, residents are encouraged to park their vehicles on their driveways, parking pads or garages.

Snow from the windrows created by city crews spilled over onto the sidewalk in front of my house after I already cleared it. Who has to clear it?

City crews, when plowing or blading roads, try their best to ensure that windrows do not encroach on sidewalks. In some cases when there is a lot of snow, some may spill onto sidewalks. Roadway Maintenance is provided some leeway by Bylaw Enforcement in this regard (0.5 metres); however, if the spillover impacts use of the sidewalk itself, crews are required to bring in equipment to clear it away.

If the problem is communicated to the City through 311, crews will be sent out within 1-2 days.

There is a windrow left in front of my driveway!

The City will only clear windrows in front of driveways if they are higher than 30 cm (one foot). Please keep in mind that in some cases when skid steers are required to help reduce the size of windrows in front of driveways, the equipment may be following a few hours behind the blading crews.

For More Information

Roadway Maintenance


In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555

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