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Public Engagement Summary

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Urban Ice and Snow Control Policy

Council approved a new Urban Snow and Ice Control Policy at its Jan. 12, 2016 meeting.

Presentation

Council Report

Council Policy

Survey Report

Snow and Ice Control Program, Fall 2014
A summary of the findings from the Snow and Ice Control citizens survey conducted Oct. 9, 2014, through Nov. 7, 2014.

Presentation Archive

The ongoing Urban Snow and Ice Control Policy Review has been the focus of presentations before members of Council in the past. You can review that information below.

Sept. 16, 2014 Administrative Briefing

Presentation

Administrative Briefing Request

Dec. 16, 2014 Council Meeting

Presentation

Council Report

The first Winter Maintenance Zones (WMZ) season ran from Oct. 15, 2015 to April 15, 2016. Since then, the Municipality has returned to the public to gather feedback, answer questions and address concerns about the program. In addition, we gauged residents’ understanding of the program, identified any communication gaps and followed up with residents so they could have their say about Winter Maintenance Zones.

See below for a summary of engagement activities and timeframes, as well as survey results and key findings. Notification will be shared with residents in advance of any future engagement opportunities, so you can ask the experts and have your say about Winter Maintenance Zones.

Winter Maintenance Zones: 2017-18

Public engagement recap

Period ran April 18-May 13, 2018
337 total surveys completed
YMCA Westwood: 83 interactions (April 25)
McMurray Experience: Two interactions (April 26)
Fort McMurray Tourism Spring Trade Show & Market: 1,500 interactions* (April 29-May 1)

*Residents engaged on various programs and services including Winter Maintenance Zones.

Survey results:

How satisfied were you with snow plowing?
53% dissatisfied
42% satisfied 
5% neutral

How satisfied were you with snow removal?
54% dissatisfied
38% satisfied
7% neutral
1% N/A

How satisfied were you with sidewalk clearing?
59% dissatisfied
22% satisfied
17% neutral
1% N/A

Were you happy with WMZs being relaxed over the Holiday Season?
65% Yes
19% No
15% Unsure
1% N/A

Were you happy WMZs were relaxed throughout the season?
55% Yes
32% No
12% Unsure
1% N/A

Did you know WMZs can be relaxed at any time during the season (October 15-April 15)?
91% Yes
8% No
1% N/A

Are you aware of the new ‘subzones’ that were introduced this season?
70% Yes
21% No
7% Unsure
1% N/A

Do you agree subzones offer more flexibility for on-street parking?
44% Agree
33% Don’t Know/Neutral
21% Disagree
2% N/A

Do you agree the subzone system should continue?
40% Agree
31% Don’t Know/Neutral
26% Disagree
3% N/A

How did you receive updates about the WMZ program? (Percentages reflect if that option was chosen by participants)
54% Electronic street signs
41% RMWB social media
31% RMWB website
24% Radio
11% Word of mouth
9% Did not receive updates
5% External social media (non-RMWB social media)
3% newspapers (print/online)
2% other

*Note that participants ranked this as their preferred way to receive updates.

Do you know triggers are in place for when and where crews will plow and remove plowed snow?
47% Yes
46% No
6% Unsure
1% N/A

Are you aware the WMZ program applies to residential streets only?
69% Yes
25% No
5% Unsure
1% N/A

Do you know that sidewalk maintenance is only performed when zones are active?
53% Yes
41% No
5% Unsure
1% N/A

How satisfied were you with sidewalk clearing overall?
56% Dissatisfied
29% Satisfied
14% Not sure/no opinion
1% N/A

How satisfied were you with sidewalk clearing on primary routes?
36% Satisfied
34% Dissatisfied
29% Not sure/no opinion
1% N/A

How satisfied were you with sidewalk clearing on secondary routes?
44% Dissatisfied
31% Not sure/no opinion
24% Satisfied
1% N/A

Do you know it’s the property owner’s responsibility to clear the windrow at the end of their driveway?
66% Yes
21% No
11% Unsure
1 % N/A

Statement: I am in favour of less street plowing to minimize windrows in my driveway, even if it could mean more snow on residential streets.
62% Disagree
29% Agree
8% Don’t know/neutral
1% N/A

Statement: I am in favour of regular plowing – even if windrows are left at the end of my driveway.
67% Agree
23% Disagree
9% Don’t know/Neutral
1% N/A

Statement: I am in favour of plowing as needed – but windrows are a challenge for me.
64% Agree
18% Disagree
16% Don’t Know/Neutral
2% N/A

Statement: I am in favour of less plowing – even if there are more ruts and potholes in the snow.
85% Disagree
7% Agree
7% Don’t Know/Neutral
1% N/A

Statement/choice: I prefer:
Side-to-side plowing of roads and sidewalk maintenance on a weekly basis resulting in clearer streets, but with windrows in front of driveways and walkways (71%)
Snow removal from roads and sidewalks 2-3 times per season resulting in minimal windrows, but longer times between maintenance, and a higher likelihood of ruts and snow build up on streets (22%)
No preference (6%)
N/A (1%)

Did you know when zones are active you can’t park on your street, even it appears to plowed as crews might still be working on additional removal, such as sidewalk and snow bank clearing?
91% Yes
7% No
1% Unsure
1% N/A

Statement: I am in favour of parking restrictions one day a week to accommodate the WMZ program.
87% Agree
8% Disagree
4% Neutral
1% N/A

Statement: I am in favour of fines for vehicles parked in WMZs that prevent necessary work.
77% Agree
14% Disagree
7% Neutral
2% N/A

Statement: I am in favour of vehicles in violation being towed from active WMZs.
77% Agree
14% Disagree
8% Neutral
1% N/A

Statement: I am in favour of towing fees being paid by the vehicle owner, not taxpayers as a whole. 
81% Agree
11% Disagree
8% Neutral
1% N/A

Statement: I am in favour of courtesy towing around the corner, funded by the municipal tax base.
54% Disagree
33% Agree
11% Neutral
1% N/A

Did you know towing and impound fees are collected by a third party, not the Municipality?
55% Yes
39% No
3% Unsure
2% N/A

2016 Engagement Activities and Timeframe

April 11 to May 2, 2016: An online WMZ survey was rolled-out and promoted widely to residents.

  • Completed surveys online: 1665
  • Completed paper surveys: 138
  • Total surveys: 1803

April 21, 2016: Public Engagement Session at the YMCA in Thickwood

  • Engaged with 74 residents, received 40 surveys

April 23, 2016: Public Engagement Session at the Peter Pond Mall

  • Engaged with 122 residents, received 69 surveys

April 29, 30 and May 1: Spring Trade Show at MacDonald Island Park

  • Engaged with 660 residents, received 29 paper surveys and many more online (iPads were used)

2016 Public Engagement Summary

Three in-person public engagement sessions were held during the campaign, the results from each are captured below. In total, 1665 surveys were filled out online and 138 paper surveys were submitted for a total of 1803 completed surveys.

The survey had 16 questions in total, staring with one to gauge support for or against the new WMZ program:

  • 73 per cent of respondents said they support the new program
  • 70 per cent of those who support the program say it just needs minor changes or no changes at all

When asked what they would change in order to improve the program these were the top suggestions:

  • Remove the snow more often
  • Clear the sidewalks more often
  • Relax the zone more often

Satisfaction with snow plowing was very high (77 per cent combined satisfied or somewhat satisfied), while satisfaction was snow removal was much lower (49 per cent).

A portion of the survey was designed to gauge residents’ awareness about WMZs, as well as inform and educate about the program. The following is an outline of the results:

  • Do you know what it means to relax WMZs? 78 per cent yes
  • Were you happy with WMZs being relaxed over the holidays? 82 per cent yes
  • Were you happy with WMZs being relaxed at other times throughout the year? 78 per cent yes
  • Did you know that WMZs could be relaxed at the beginning of the season (after Oct. 15) until winter maintenance becomes necessary — based on weather conditions? 84 per cent yes
  • Did you know that WMZs could be relaxed at the end of the season (before April 15) if winter maintenance is no longer necessary — based on weather conditions? 84 per cent yes
  • Did you know that winter maintenance is performed on a priority basis? 50 per cent no
  • Did you know that the WMZ program only applies to residential streets and not to Primary, Secondary or Tertiary routes? 68 per cent yes
  • Did you know that it is the property owner’s responsibility to clear their sidewalks within 48 hours of a snowfall event? 90 per cent yes
  • Did you know that it’s the property owner’s responsibility to clear the windrow at the end of their driveway? 68 per cent yes
  • Did you know that you cannot park in your zone between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.? 91 per cent yes

Residents were also asked to provide their feedback on parking restrictions by indicating their level of satisfaction. The following is an outline of the results:

  • I am in favour of parking restrictions one day a week to accommodate the WMZ program. 81 per cent agree or strongly agree
  • I am in favour of parking fines (tickets) for vehicles parked on the street that prevent work in WMZs. 70 per cent agree or strongly agree
  • I am in favour of towing vehicles out of active WMZs to allow my street to be cleared. 75 per cent agree or strongly agree
  • Towing fees should be paid by the vehicle owner, not by all taxpayers as a whole, as was the case in the past. 82 per cent agree or strong agree
  • Courtesy towing (towing around the corner) is better, and should be funded from the municipal tax base. 51 per cent disagree or strongly disagree

When it comes to information, the following outlines how residents receive their updates about WMZs:

  • 50 per cent said electronic street signage
  • 38 per cent said social media
  • 29 per cent said radio

2014/2015 Snow and Ice Control Public Engagement Summary

The Public Operations Department conducted public engagement in both fall 2014 and spring 2015 to gather input and share information with residents in relation to winter road maintenance. The input provided decision-makers of the RMWB with satisfaction levels, and expectations of the public in regards to Snow and Ice Control within Fort McMurray.

The public input gathered from residents also informed the development of a Municipal Policy in relation to winter road maintenance and urban snow and ice control.

Engagement Activities and Timeframe:

Fall 2014:

  • Oct. 1, 2014 – an online Snow and Ice Control satisfaction survey is rolled-out, and promoted widely to residents.
  • The results of the satisfaction survey are used to identify themes and issues of importance to residents for a series of Open Houses.
  • Nov. 3, 2014 – Open House at Frank Lacroix Arena
  • Nov. 4, 2014 – Open House at MacDonald Island Park
  • Nov. 5, 2014 – Open House at the Syncrude Athletic Park Clubhouse

Spring 2015:

  • Information sessions were held to share with residents the new system of parking zones and related signage to be rolled out in late summer in preparation for the coming winter season.
  • May 23, 2015 – Open House in the MacDonald Island Park concourse
  • May 27, 2015 – Open House in the MacDonald Island Park concourse

Engagement Results:

Fall 2014:

  • 865 surveys completed by residents
  • 3 open houses resulting in 119 direct conversations with residents

Spring 2015:

  • 207 direct engagements and impressions from residents during the Open Houses. Overall residents felt positive about the roll-out of a system of zones for the upcoming winter season.
  • The sessions provided an opportunity to answer questions around the new zones and also make residents aware that signs would be posted in late summer.

WMZones and all subzones are active Nov. 13 - 16. Follow us here for regular updates.