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Township of Tiny

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Winter Operations

Winter conditions are regularly monitored in all areas of the Township of Tiny.  As winter approaches, a sand/salt mixture is stockpiled, plows are installed and roads personnel work out routes and undergo training to prepare for the first snowfall. 

The Township is responsible for maintaining 470 km of roads and 5.1 km of sidewalks.  The Township fleet is made up of 9 plows with sand/salt spreaders, 2 graders and 1 loader for narrow roads and cul-de-sacs, 1 pick-up truck for narrow roads and parking lots and 1 sidewalk plow.

Snowplowing

Snowplow operations begin with the first significant snowfall.  This can be as early as October or as late as December. 

Township bylaws prohibit parking or stopping on the road in a way that interferes with plowing operations.  Plow operators need clear roadways to complete their routes safely and on time. 

Under the Highway Traffic Act, residents are not allowed to deposit snow on the roadway.  When clearing snow, pile it on your property – do not shovel it onto the sidewalk, onto the road or across the road into the ditch.  This practice is dangerous because it covers the sand and may cause drivers to lose control while plowing through the snow.

Sanding

The sand applied to roads is mixed with 6% salt to prevent the sand from freezing.  During freezing rain or other icy conditions this mixture may be increased to 12% to provide safer driving conditions.  The Township does not apply unmixed salt to roads.

Sanding is normally completed on hills, curves and intersections but may be applied to other areas if icy conditions occur.

 Frequently asked questions...

Which streets are the first to be plowed?

The roads crews are each assigned a designated route.  Each route has roads of different classes – class 3 roads are the major routes and class 5 roads are small lightly traveled roads.  The routes are designed to clear roads in a systematic way that generally gives priority to class 3 roads.  This method also provides the best access for Emergency Services.

Which roads are closed in the winter?

​The hills located on Concession 17 West, Concession 15 West and Concession 8 West will be closed for the winter months due to safety concerns. These closures are currently in effect and will remain until further notice.  

Why does it sometimes take a long time for my road to be plowed?

During normal snowfall events, the plow driver will strive to follow his route in the same way every time.  This will provide some consistency in the timeframe that the plow completes each road. 

Some winter events are much more severe than others, leading to exceptionally large quantities of snowfall, drifting, or freezing rain.  In these conditions, the plow may have to plow and sand the major roads on the route several times before starting the smaller side streets. 

During periods of freezing rain, the plow may have to apply much more sand than normal, requiring the truck to return to the works yard more often for refilling.

How long does snow clearance usually take?

Most routes are completed within a 12-hour period.  This may be extended during exceptionally heavy snowfall or freezing rain events. 

In accordance with Ministry of Labour regulations, drivers cannot work for more than 13 hours without an extended rest period.  There are other restrictions limiting the number of consecutive days a driver can work.  These regulations were put in place to protect our drivers and other motorists.

What happens during a normal snowfall event?

​Overnight, winter patrollers monitor the conditions of the Township.  If a winter storm develops the patroller will call in the daytime roads crews for a 4 am start and begin plowing and sanding major roads until the daytime crews arrive.

Daytime crews take over at 5 am and all routes get under way. 

With this schedule most roads are cleared in time for the morning commute and school bus operations.

What happens during non-routine snowfall events?

A heavy storm that develops after the night patrollers finish at 4 am but before daytime crews arrive at 7:00 am can cause significant accumulations before the roads crews can begin their routes. 

Heavy snowfall, drifting, poor visibility and freezing rain conditions can also impair road clearing operations and cause travel delays.  

Staff continually monitor weather conditions and are assisted by the OPP and First Student Transportation to ensure public road safety.

The Township recognizes that these situations are frustrating to residents and will do everything possible to clear the roads as quickly and safely as possible.  

Please note that the Township cannot respond to special requests to clear a particular road at any time.  Crews must follow their assigned routes to ensure timely snow removal for the entire Township.

Why do plows push snow into driveways? / Why can’t the operator lift the blade in front of my house?

​Snow must be pushed to the side of the road to clear the road for traffic.  The Township understands that this unavoidable situation can be frustrating.

Sometimes it is necessary to make several passes with the snowplow during a storm.  At other times it will be necessary to push back the banks to allow room for more snow and to provide room for drainage during the thaw.

Homes that are located near corners or in cul-de-sacs may get more snow in the driveways than homes located on a straight section of road.  This too is unavoidable.

Seasonal residents who visit their cottages during the winter months should expect their driveway’s to be impassible unless the driveways have been regularly maintained.   Snow that has accumulated over the winter will be hard-packed and icy.

Lifting the blade of the snowplow in front of a home to reduce the amount of snow going into the driveway is not allowed.  The snowplow is put into operation to clear the snow off the road and in order for this to happen the blade must stay in contact with the road surface at all times.

Why can’t the Township sand the sides of the road where I walk?

​Roads are maintained for drivers, not walkers.  Sanders are designed with the applicator in the centre of the truck to apply sand to the centre of the road.

The Township understands the desire for fresh air and exercise but during the winter months it may not always be safe to walk on the side of the road.  Icy conditions, poor visibility and snow clearing operations may create dangerous conditions for people and vehicles to share the roadway.  At these times, residents are encouraged to stay off the roads and find an alternate source of exercise.

What do I do if a Township plow damages my property?

First, determine if the damage was caused by the plow or the snow load.  The Township has no control over snow load and does not reimburse homeowners for that type of damage.

Sometimes a plow will damage property.  Mailboxes are particularly susceptible to this damage.  

If your mailbox is hit by the plow, please call the Public Works department at Township of Tiny municipal office at: (705) 526-4204 or Toll free 1-866-939-TINY (8469) TTY Telephone Service is available by calling (705) 526-4205 ext 301.  

The Township will repair or replace the mailbox as soon as possible.   Please note that plastic mailboxes become brittle over time and are particularly susceptible to damage.  A metal mailbox on a wooden post is the preferred option.

Garbage and recycle bins are also vulnerable to plow damage.  To avoid damage, keep your garbage and recycle items in your driveway – not on the roadway.  Do not place items on top of the snow bank.  The Township does not reimburse residents for damage to garbage or recycle bins.

Permanent garbage boxes must be kept clear of snow so that they are visible to the plow operator.  Where possible, garbage boxes should be removed from the road edge during the winter months to prevent damage.  The Township does not reimburse residents for damages to garbage boxes that were not visible to the plow driver at the time the damage occurred. 

The Township is not responsible for damages that occur on Township property.  The Township owned area between the road surface and the property line must be kept clear of private items such as fences, posts, ornaments, or certain plantings in accordance with Township bylaws.  The Township does not reimburse property owners for damages to these items.