Is it better to leave a snowy road alone or put up with the blocked driveways ?

By Pepper Parr

March 12th, 2023



This is Canada and we get snow – we learned this past week just how much we can get in a short period of time ?

The farmers love it – they need that moisture in the Spring.

The folks on the residential street don’t see it quite the same way.

The driveway is blocked with snow that has become a wall of solid ice – very hard to shovel away.

One Gazette reader set out the issue and the concern:

“I guess we should be thankful that the city plows even secondary roads promptly, but they did me no favour last night. Our  neighbourhood awoke today to find a half meter wall of nearly solid ice across each driveway (as well as the access from sidewalks to cross a street).

“I don’t have a solution to offer, except there must be a way to judge whether it is better to leave a snowy road alone than to give so many (often elderly) citizens a major challenge to dig out.”

The people who drive the trucks with snow plows on the front have an issue – the people that don’t bother to park their cars off the street.

Is there a solution ?

Let’s see what readers have to say.

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9 comments to Is it better to leave a snowy road alone or put up with the blocked driveways ?

  • Alan

    I drove plow for the CoB for over 35 years, you will never please everybody. They complain about the windrow or they complain that their street gets last.
    Can’t win. All I can say is Spring is the best form of Winter Control, it’ll melt.

  • SteveW

    “Interesting no problem coming up with 90 million dollars to refit Robert Bateman High School, but no money to get proper snow plows that would benefit all residents.” And there you have it … it’s a matter of priorities.

    BTW Excellent answer Penny Hersh

  • Doug

    First off, I suggest the City hires the Oakville roads mgr. For yrs now you think the City roads are clear, that is until you drive past Burloak, it’s like night and day.
    Plus track your plow your is a joke, a lot happens in 24 hrs, Hamilton tracks there by 2 hr windows, no reason Burlington can’t.
    Some people are lucky their roads get plowed, ours is cleared by the warn weather person..

  • Sharon

    We first had a tractor come and blocked driveways, we just got finished digging out the end of our driveways and a snow plow came down to do it again!
    Also our street has been plowed twice. Often left as a single lane. If cars are parked on the street they should be ticketed and towed.

  • Denise W.

    I will say….This year the city has done a great job clearing the streets!

    As for the question at hand…If the streets are not cleared, then they will be a mess of crunchy ice that many vehicles cannot manage. It is just part of property ownership.

    We have hired somebody to clear our driveway. Comes with age. Yes such extra expense is hard to mange for some. We don’t replace the shingles ourselves either. Mowing grass, no problem. Perhaps some neighbours can help?

    Things just get to a point where we can’t do everything ourselves.
    Stay safe!

  • Grahame

    When we first moved into our current home decades ago clearing the snow windrow was not an issue since many of our neighbours had teenage kids who jumped at the opportunity to earn some pocket money and asked us if they could do the clearing job.We now seem to have a new generation of kids who seem immune to a bit of work helping out seniors .

  • Penny Hersh

    Below is the answer to this question provided in the Mayors Mailbag of March 13, 2023.

    ” The City of Burlington does not clear windrows (the pile of snow left at the bottom of a driveway after a snowplow has cleared the road) or driveways. Staff are aware of a mechanism that can be attached on a snowplow that helps avoid pushing snow back onto the driveway. However, the mechanism does not fit on any existing City snow-clearing equipment that are designed to move continuously. If the City were to invest in additional snow-clearing equipment, that would come at additional costs.

    City staff are currently looking at cost-efficient options to help with the issue of windrows.

    Presently, the City of Burlington does offer a Windrow Snow Clearing Program that residents can apply for. Please note this is a very popular program and tends to fill up quickly and early.

    The windrow clearing program is offered to residents who are not physically able to clear their own windrow(s). Burlington residents who meet the criteria, may apply to get assistance with removing their windrow for the next winter season, as the program registration for this season is now closed.

    We know this may not be the response some residents were looking for, but unfortunately, large accumulation of snow at the end of driveways (particularly after a heavy snowfall) are sometimes unavoidable due to the current nature of snowplow operations combined with winter conditions.”

    Basically the mechanism to avoid this issue of piling snow at the end of resident’s driveways does not fit on the existing snow plows. The mayor indicated that ” if the City were to invest in additional snow-clearing equipment that would come at additional costs”

    Interesting no problem coming up with 90 million dollars to refit Robert Bateman High School, but no money to get proper snow plows that would benefit all residents.

  • David

    It’s called ‘Windrow Ploughing’ I’ve seen them doing it in Toronto.

  • Mary A.

    Ticket those who leave their cars on the street.