Winter Maintenance Efficacy Report: Feb 26-27 Snow 42 HRS 13.8cm

By Michael Holloway @michaelholloway111
Tuesday, March 03, 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 p.m. on Thursday, February 27, 2020.

Featured Image

Car in the bike lane 8-37am Friday Feburary 28 FEATURED IMAGE priority bike lane not plowed
Image (cropped) from @CarsinLanesTO Feb 27 8:09 a.m. Bloor St Bike Lanes eastbound from Shaw St


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 link list of social media posts describes conditions in the aftermath of a February 26-27, 2020 snow event that started at 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 26th and ended on Thursday, February 27th at 11:00 p.m..

Environment Canada | Pearson – Historical Weather screen captures: Daily Data Reports for February + Hourly Data Reports for February 26 and 27, 2020

Environment Canada Daily and Hourly Data Reports for the Feb 26-27 Snow 42 HRS 13.8cm storm event


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 (

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.

APPENDIX 1 - CYCLING FACILITY LEVEL OF SERVICE TABLE - March 17 2014 Feb 09-10 Markup Storm Type II number 2

The Report

The city did better than usual in this storm event. All the priority bike lanes were cleared within the 6-8 hours; and this meet the level of service commitment, but it didn’t help cyclists commuting to work 4 hours after end of snowfall at 8:00 a.m. – but commute cyclists were able to make it into work through what settled out to be about 10cm of snow – which by the morning commute had turned to deep slush in the bike lanes due to salting.

By the evening commute all the priority lanes and all the painted bike lanes in the entire network had been plowed and at least half the width of the lanes were clear to bare pavement.

From this authors’ observations riding Dundas St E bike lanes, due to close-to-zero-degree temperatures following the snow fall, none of the slush in the bike lanes contained ice chucks, which made cycling confidently possible – once one understood the condition.

The temporal list of issues I found on Twitter were detailing issues in the bike lane network plus stretches of the sidewalk network that were not detailed, and some sidewalks that were apparently not assigned to a plow contractor or Transportation staff for one reason or another.

Michael Holloway – March 3, 2020

Feb 26-27 Snow 42 HRS 13.8cm-0 HRS

(3) Cars in Bike Lanes TO on Twitter: “Feb 27. 8:09am. @311Toronto @Ward14Bikes @CycleToronto what’s this about priority bike lane clearance? Bloor Shaw – St George completely unridable. But let’s make sure ppl in their warm cars are ok (even tho there is literally subway underground) #zerovision” / Twitter
Cars in Bike Lanes TO on Twitter: “@311Toronto @Ward14Bikes @CycleToronto Beverly & Dundas. Seems the plows can do the roads but not the “priority bike lanes”??” / Twitter
jnyyz on Twitter: “Bloor bike lane completely clear. Roadway is clear too, so no problems with windrows. Side roads a bit slippery. Also got splashed with slush from passing cars (but not along Bloor) Thanks @TO_WinterOps” / Twitter
+0 HRS
+12 HRS
+24 HRS
+36 HRS
(3) Alex on Twitter: “@311Toronto can the sidewalk be cleared that’s in front of the stop at East Liberty and Pirandello? This happens after every snowfall.” / Twitter
Joe LaFortune on Twitter: “So, @311Toronto, if it’s a by-law violation for home-owners not to clear snow/ice from the sidewalks outside their property, why does the city think they’re excluded? Or should I just sue for having fallen and bruised my knee on this sidewalk by Bartlett Park on Geary?” / Twitter
+48 HRS
dearappauthors on Twitter: “@311Toronto #SignDown @Walk_TO: Paul Lane Gardens at Vanauley St” / Twitter
+60 HRS
(1) Heather Braithwaite on Twitter: “@311Toronto why are the accessible ramps not cleaned for streetcar acess Bay and college” / Twitter
(1) pumpinpie on Twitter: “@311Toronto @CrosstownTO want to escalate this ongoing snow clearing/safety issue with the TO Ombudsman bc TS NEVER plows this sidewalk and I’m fed up with reporting & no action is EVER taken. Metrolinx has created a disaster that goes unchecked. Eglinton bet Laird & Leslie.” / Twitter
+72 HRS
(1) Clusterplucking on Twitter: “.@311Toronto a week after snow, sidewalk / bus stop / crosswslk at queesnway and south Kingsway (south) has not been cleared. Why does the city want pedestrians and TTC riders to risk their lives trying to get out of a bus or cross the street” / Twitter
(1) Clusterplucking on Twitter: “@311Toronto It’s been almost ten hours. And the snow is still there. Why? How is this acceptable? Why do pedestrians, the disabled and mothers that use sidewalks not matter in this city? @gordperks” / Twitter


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