January 6th - Public Engagement of the Winter Maintenance Quality Standards (WMQS) Review Project
The City wants to know what you think about snow!
Okay, that’s not entirely true – but it was catchy. They really want to know what you think about their winter maintenance quality standards.
The Winter Maintenance Quality Standards (WMQS) are approved by Council and they define the “desirable level of maintenance and the executed outcome of each winter service by defining the timing and extent of each winter maintenance activity in the context of achieving the overall objective of safe and passable roads and sidewalks by reducing hazards caused by snow and ice accumulation.” That’s technical speak for “they provide guidance on when and how the City will address winter weather conditions (snow, ice, freezing rain) on roads, sidewalks, bicycle lanes and multi-use pathways to ensure that they are safe for drivers and pedestrians”.
The WMQS were last updated in 2003 and much has changed since then. In updating the standards, the City has accounted for issues related to climate change, accessibility, equity, gender, sustainability, injury prevention, healthy living and livability.
“There will be no reduction in service as part of this Project,” said Chad Findlay, WMQS Review Project Lead. “We are suggesting either maintaining current standards or proposing options for increased service levels. And that’s why we want to hear from residents. We want to understand what their priorities are, if they are happy with current service levels and if they aren’t happy, we want to understand exactly what they’d like to see changed.”
Not all winter maintenance activities are being reviewed as part of this project – it’s very specific to the City’s active transportation network (sidewalks, cycling network, pathways and multi-use pathways), Class 5 roadways and Class 4 roadways without sidewalks. More information on the project can be found on Engage Ottawa
The City has planned a number of engagement opportunities; an online survey will be launched in mid-January and four virtual workshops are planned: January 25 from 7-9pm; January 26 from 7-9pm; January 27 from 7-9pm and January 28 from 1-3pm. You can sign up to receive Project updates, or register for any of the virtual workshops, on the Engage Ottawa site.