Public Engagement Summary
Council approved a new Urban Snow and Ice Control Policy at its Jan. 12, 2016 meeting.
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.
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 Administrative Briefing
Dec. 16 Council Meeting
After the first Winter Maintenance Zones (WMZ) season (Oct. 15, 2015, to April 15, 2016), the Municipality returned to the public from April 11 to May 2, 2016, 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.
You told us what you thought about the program by completing our survey – which was available online from April 11 to May 2, 2016 – as well as, in-person at the Spring Trade Show (April 29 to May 1, 2016) or at one of the public engagement sessions.
Municipal staff and WMZ experts were on-hand at the Spring Trade Show and at all engagement sessions to discuss the program with you and answer your questions or concerns.
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:
- 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
- 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
- 865 surveys completed by residents
- 3 open houses resulting in 119 direct conversations with residents
- 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.