Dec. 22, 2020
Some people complain about our wet weather, but you know what they say: You don’t have to shovel rain. Well it’s time for us to join the rest of Canada. The snow has arrived.
You may already know that here in Coquitlam, we’re required to shovel the sidewalks next to our property within 10 hours of a snowfall. It’s critical for everyone’s safety – people walking to school or work, our seniors, those with strollers or mobility aids, transit users, and even commuters heading out to their car in the morning.
This winter in particular, it’s more important than ever that people can continue to get out into the fresh air and walk, even when it’s snowing.
When you travel through any neighbourhood after a snowfall, you can immediately see who’s doing their part. Some people are extra keen – they’re out there with their shovels and snowblowers, they’re taking care of their neighbours’ sidewalks, and they’re clearing off catchbasins so their street doesn’t flood. If you’re one of those people, kudos to you and thank you for your Coquitlam spirit.
The City takes snow removal seriously, too. Our crews are out there in advance applying brine to the roads, and then working 24/7 to clear and salt them during each snow event. You can help them by following the parking restrictions in place on some of our roads to allow our ploughs to do their work.
If you’re wondering which streets gets ploughed first, it comes down to public safety and transit access. We have a video by Captain Public Works that tells you all about it. You can find it at www.coquitlam.ca/winterwise, a great source of information about snow removal in Coquitlam, our parking restrictions, and how to get prepared and stay safe. There’s also a form to report snow removal concerns in real time, and a link to sign up for notifications.
If you’re looking for a way to help your neighbours this winter, consider signing up with the City as a Snow Angel. We pair volunteers who can shovel with those who cannot. If you are age 16 and up and want to help, you can learn more at www.coquitlam.ca/snowangels.
Now that the cold weather has set in, if you’re a driver, I hope you’ve already made the switch to winter tires, or made other arrangements to get around in the snow and ice. Coquitlam’s hills can be treacherous in winter, even with the right tires.
Please do your community a favour – stay off the roads if your vehicle doesn’t have good winter tires, or if you don’t know how to drive in the snow. If you do need to go out, take transit or walk – and you see, that brings us back to the importance of shoveling sidewalks.
One of the things we’ve learned this year is that most of us don’t really have to go out very much. Many people can work or study at home. We can order online and have our groceries or dinner brought to our door.
We did these things to keep ourselves and each other safe. These are useful lessons to remember when winter turns our roads and sidewalks into skating rinks.
One other thing the pandemic has shown us is to watch out for our neighbours. Shovel their walks when you do your own. Check in on people who are alone, who are elderly, or who don’t have safe transportation. Let’s continue to take care of each other, and to spread the warmth of our Coquitlam spirit in the cold months ahead.