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Mayor’s Monday Mailbag – March 6, 2023 – Why are Plows Blocking my Driveway 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 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 publish a roundup of those most pressing questions we’ve received in the weeks prior.

Mayor’s Monday Mailbag – March 6, 2023


“Why are Burlington plows blocking my driveway when snow-clearing?”


The resulting blocking of driveways during snow-clearing operations across our city is not intentional, but rather occurs due to the current nature of snow-clearing. As the plow moves to make our roads safe to commute, it deposits snow off to one side and accumulation of snow all along the side of the road and along driveway entrances is unfortunately unavoidable as the snow has to go somewhere.

To help avoid a large pileup when clearing their driveways, residents can try piling the snow onto the right side of their driveway — that’s if you’re standing on your driveway and looking out 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 (the pile of snow left at the bottom of a driveway after a snowplow has cleared the road) or driveways. Staff are aware of a mechanism that can be attached on a snowplow that helps avoid pushing snow back onto the driveway. However, the mechanism does not fit on any existing City snow-clearing equipment that are designed to move continuously. If the City were to invest in additional snow-clearing equipment, that would come at additional costs.

City staff are currently looking at cost-efficient options to help with the issue of windrows.

Presently, the City of Burlington does offer a Windrow Snow Clearing Program that residents can apply for. Please note this is a very popular program and tends to fill up quickly and early.

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.

We know this may not be the response some residents were looking for, but unfortunately, large accumulation of snow at the end of driveways (particularly after a heavy snowfall) are sometimes unavoidable due to the current nature of snowplow operations combined with winter conditions.

However, if you do have concerns with snow-clearing or requests for service, please contact Service Burlington at or 905-335-7777.

Residents can also sign-up for snow updates and check the progress of City snow-clearing efforts online at

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1 thought on “Mayor’s Monday Mailbag – March 6, 2023 – Why are Plows Blocking my Driveway When Snow-Clearing?”

  1. Barb Fitzsimmons

    I read the complaint the resident wrote about snow plows leaving snow on the entrance to his driveway and I thought it was a joke. Snow clearing is indeed a thankless task. The City of Burlington does a tremendous job of preparing our streets for snow and clearing them after a storm. We are lucky to live in such a responsible, reactive municipality.

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