By Michael Holloway @michaelholloway111
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Winter Maintenance Efficacy Reports are a list of Toronto Transportation Services Winter Maintenance deficiencies (and/or successes) posted to Twitter tagged with “#bikeTO” and/or “@311Toronto” – bookmarked in 12 hour increment folders from end of a storm event; in this case starting at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 7, 2020.
A post on Friday, February 7th at 12:24 p.m. by a cyclist using an east-west bike lane and cycle track combination from Leslieville to the downtown core using a magic meme to express their delight at the efficiency of the bicycle on clear infrastructure – 1.5 hours after the end of snow accumulation!
— Kathleen Mackey (@bike_kat) February 8, 2020
Ward 14 Bikes is tracking the efficacy of City of Toronto Winter Maintenance Operations with regard to the timely clearing of snow from bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure on Toronto roadways using road user posts from Twitter.
The purpose of this project is to shine a light on, and effect change in, efficacy of Toronto Winter Operations with regard to cyclist and pedestrian infrastructure after a major winter weather event.
The Storm Type
This temporal link list of social media posts describes conditions in the aftermath of a February 06-07, 2020 snow event that started at 12:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 6th and ended on Friday, February 7th at 11:00 a.m. By this authors observation, for the first 13 hours of this storm – although it was snowing constantly – only 1 centimetre of snow accumulated in Toronto & East York. After a interlude on Thursday between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., snow accumulation began in earnest, dumping 8cm of snow over the next 17 hours – ending at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 7th.
Environment Canada | Pearson – Historical Weather screen captures: Daily Data Reports for February + Hourly Data Reports for February 06 and 07, 2020
Storm Type Service Levels
This type of storm is classified by the City of Toronto Transportation Services as a ‘Storm Type 2’ – according to Toronto City Council’s vote to approve “Confirmation of Levels of Service for Winter Maintenance of Bikeways, Windrow Opening, Sidewalks and AODA Compliance” – passed March 17, 2014 (https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/8b0f-Winter-Maintenance_Staff-Report_Spring2014.pdf).
The promise in this type of storm event is clear to bare pavement with in 6-8 hours in the Priority Bike Lane network, and 8-10 hours for all other bike lanes.
According to posts tracked for 55 hours after the storm, City of Toronto Transportation Winter Maintenance Operations met and exceeded the service standard – with excellent results for cyclists.
No reports of unsatisfactory conditions in the Priority Bike Lane Network, or in the painted bike lane network as a whole, were found by the author in Twitter Search after the 6-8 hours or the 8-10 hours service level promises and prior to the beginning of the next storm event (which started on Sunday evening February 9th – 55 hours after end of snowfall in the Feb 06-07 event).
One report below tells of an excellent Bike Share Toronto trip on Friday afternoon, less than 2 hours after end of snowfall!
Overall – an extraordinary winter maintenance result.
Michael Holloway – February 11, 2020
Feb 06-07 Snow 36 HRS – 9cm
- +0 HRS (beginning Friday, February 7th at 11:00 a.m.)
- Cars in Bike Lanes TO on Twitter: “@311Toronto college WB needs cleared especially before it all turns to ice. @CycleToronto @TO_Cycling @cityoftoronto #zerovision #visionzero https://t.co/WTjm7w2irp” / Twitter
- Cars in Bike Lanes TO on Twitter: “@311Toronto Bloor WB, stgeorge SB ALL needs cleared. If/when the temp drops it’ll all be ice. @cityoftoronto @JohnTory so evident that “cars” are the priority #zerovision #visionzeroisajoke https://t.co/FklRADl1QU” / Twitter
- (4) Serene K Tan on Twitter: “#biketo last night & early this morning: bikelanes were fairly sloppy; mounds of snow dragged in/out of the lanes & at intersections by autos were not great. Greatest danger were drivers close-passing/side-swiping to get to the red light before I did. Bloor viaduct huge mess.” / Twitter
- Kathleen Mackey on Twitter: “Made it from my office (Leslieville) to a meeting at King St E & George St in 20 mins thanks to @BikeShareTO. What a time saver and nice to get some activity in the middle of the day. Oh and this was yesterday, post-snowfall. Made more possible due to clear lanes (!).💫 #bikeTO” / Twitter
- +12 HRS
- +24 HRS (Saturday 11:00 a.m.)
- +36 HRS
- +48 HRS (Sunday 11:00 a.m.)
- +55 HRS (Sunday 6:00 p.m. – next snow accumulation begins)