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Mayor’s Monday Mailbag – Jan. 24, 2022 – Can’t Windrows Be Avoided When Snow Clearing?

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward Mailbag

Welcome to the Mayor’s Monday Mailbag, an initiative Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and the Mayor’s Office has launched to share weekly answers to questions from the public we’ve received through our main email inbox at or the Mayor’s social media platforms.

At the end of the month, we’ll publish a roundup of those most pressing questions we’ve received in the weeks prior.

Mayor’s Monday Mailbag – Jan. 24, 2022


“Why do snowplows leave such a big wall of snow at the end of my driveway — can’t this be avoided? Why did only one direction of my street get plowed?”


We checked in with our Winter Maintenance team at the City of Burlington to help answer these questions — who have been doing a fantastic job in clearing our streets and sidewalks of the nearly 50 cm of snow that fell in a single snow event. We thank them for their tireless efforts!

Plow operators do not intentionally block driveways; as the plow moves, it deposits snow to one side, and accumulation of snow all along the side of the road and along driveway entrances is unfortunately unavoidable.

When a street gets plowed, the operator tries to plow as much of the roadway platform as possible. Unfortunately, obstructions, such as parked cars, can get in the way of the City’s cleanup operations and can prevent sections or even entire streets from being plowed.

When clearing their driveways, residents should try to pile the snow on the right side (if you’re standing on your driveway and looking towards the street). This can help reduce the amount of snow that is pushed onto your driveway when a plow passes. Plows are not able to lift or angle their blade to avoid the snow from piling onto driveway entrances, as this would result in snow being deposited on the road — and that ends up being hazardous for vehicles and pedestrians.

The City of Burlington does not clear windrows or driveways, but it does offer a Windrow Snow Clearing Program that residents can apply for. The windrow clearing program is offered to residents who are not physically able to clear their own windrow(s). Burlington residents who meet the criteria, may apply to get assistance with removing their windrow for the next winter season, as the program registration for this season is now closed.

More information about the program is available here: Windrow Snow Clearing Program.

Windrow clearing contractors are dispatched to program participants’ homes after the completion of all roadway plowing. Residents can expect windrows to be cleared within 36 hours after the snow stops and within 12 hours of the completion of all road plowing. Please note, this service does not include windrows left by sidewalk plows.

Plowing services run from Nov. 15, 2021 until March 31, 2022 for this season.


*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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1 thought on “Mayor’s Monday Mailbag – Jan. 24, 2022 – Can’t Windrows Be Avoided When Snow Clearing?”

  1. Hannelore Brandner

    Thank you, Mayor Meed Ward and City Winter Maintenance for the common sense advice not everyone chooses to use. However, when there is no more space for the snow, as the piles are now shoulder height and cover any existing home frontage, not so useful. Then, having to move a 3′ wall of compacted snow, too heavy to lift from the entrance to the driveway ends with pushing ‘the wall’ to the side of the roadway. Should someone disregard the snow advisory (and common sense) and leave a vehicle on the road, the result might be a 4′ ‘iceberg’ in the middle of the road, compliments of the snowplow. It might be prudent to suggest this ‘common sense’ approach the the snow plow operators. Surely, leaving a 4′ pile of snow that blocks an entire lane of a roadway, would suggest a lack of common sense.
    I would also like to suggest that Members of Council and Winter Maintenance Personnel have an in person look at the poorly plowed sidewalks, and the lack of plowing on the walking paths along roads, Upper Middle as an example, and the paths between roads, Heathfield to Palmer to Upper Middle. Walking is treacherous. Limiting the few outdoor exercise options currently available. Hopefully, the next round of snow clearing will rectify some of these oversights.

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Media Specialist: John Bkila