Navigating Winter:
Residential Snow Removal Bylaws in Coquitlam,
Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody

Winter in the Tri-Cities brings a magical blanket of snow, transforming the landscape into a winter wonderland. However, with the snow comes the responsibility of keeping sidewalks and driveways clear. In this guide, we’ll explore the residential snow removal bylaws in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody to help you navigate the winter season with ease.

City of Coquitlam’s Snow Removal Bylaws

According to the Boulevard Maintenance Bylaw in the city of Coquitlam, property owners bear the responsibility of removing snow and ice from all sidewalks adjacent to their properties.

After a snowfall, residents are required to clear their sidewalks within a 10-hour timeframe. It’s essential to shovel the snow toward the back of your driveway or onto your lawn. Shoveling snow onto the street can result in the snow plow pushing it back onto your driveway and sidewalk. If such an occurrence does happen, it becomes your responsibility to clear the sidewalk once again.

Remember, it’s specifically necessary to clear the sidewalk thoroughly, creating a path wide enough for a stroller or wheelchair to navigate safely. The city of Coquitlam has a Snow Response Request Tool to report instances where a sidewalk hasn’t been cleared. The city has a Snow Angels program to which you can apply if you are not able to clear your snow yourself.

Snow Removal Bylaws in Port Coquitlam

Residents and business owners in Port Coquitlam must follow the city’s snow removal bylaws. The maintenance obligation includes clearing sidewalks within 24 hours after snowfall cessation. This practice is crucial to guarantee the safe passage of pedestrians, especially individuals with limited mobility such as seniors, people with disabilities, those using motorized scooters, or mothers with strollers. It’s essential to note that this responsibility is ongoing; therefore, property owners must re-clear snow and ice as it re-accumulates to maintain safe and accessible public walkways. When shoveling driveways, it is recommended to pile the snow on the left side (facing your property) to improve traffic visibility and reduce snow windrows resulting from plow trucks dragging the snow pile back into driveways. Non-compliance with this bylaw may result in fines ranging from $50 to $2,000.

Roadway Ice Control Sensor System

The city of Port Coquitlam has an Innovative Anti-Icing Program. In line with this forward-thinking “Anti-Icing” ice control program, the city has implemented one of the first pavement temperature road sensor systems in British Columbia. Embedded within the road pavement structure, these sensors measure asphalt surface temperatures and moisture levels. Data is continuously monitored through a centralized telemetry system, programmed to promptly alert staff of any emergent changes in road conditions. City crews are swiftly dispatched to apply de-icing solutions or plow city roadways whenever necessary to enhance road conditions. Port Coquitlam uses this de-icing solution to minimize the amount of salt particulate required, making this strategy more environmentally friendly.

Mindful Waste Collection in Winter

During periods of dropping temperatures, the city prioritizes waste collection services. If road conditions become hazardous due to snow and ice, waste collection may be temporarily suspended. Notifications regarding such instances will be posted on the PoCo waste-line App, available for download at, on the city’s social media channels, and on relevant web pages. Crews will resume collecting waste in missed zones after completing the regularly scheduled zones the next day, with efforts to finalize collection for missed zones within several days.

Port Moody’s Snow Removal Bylaws

The Boulevard and Sidewalk Maintenance Bylaw (BL2426-C) governs the upkeep of boulevards and sidewalks. Property owners could be tasked with the removal of snow, ice, or debris from the sidewalks adjacent to their properties. The proprietor or resident of a property is required to clear snow or ice from the sidewalks adjacent to their property within 24 hours after the conclusion of a snowfall or storm event causing such accumulation. The use of equipment that could potentially damage the boulevard or sidewalk due to excessive weight or sharp edges causing abrasions is prohibited.

In cases where excess snow has been plowed onto sidewalks near city property, the Director of Operations or their designate will prioritize clearing these sidewalks within 24 hours of the snowfall. This provision specifically applies to sidewalks directly adjacent to the traveled section of the roadway on collector or arterial routes. The Director of Operations formulates an annual sidewalk clearing plan, indicating the locations that will be addressed by the city’s annual snow clearing program.

Despite the general regulation mentioned above, for all sidewalks on Priority Pedestrian Routes (part of this Bylaw, generally along main city routes), property owners or occupants along such sidewalks must clear all accumulated snow or ice by 10:00 am every day. Failure to fulfill the required work, the owner or occupier of property may result in the city of Port Moody completing the necessary work at the owner’s expense. Apart from any specific remedies or penalties within the Bylaw, individuals committing such offenses may face prosecution and a fine of up to $5,000.00 may be imposed.

Tips for Effective Snow Removal

Effective snow removal is crucial for maintaining safety and accessibility during winter. Whether you own or rent your home, here are some tips to make the process more efficient and safe.

Be Proactive

  • Monitor weather forecasts to anticipate snowfall.
  • Start removal promptly to prevent accumulation and ice formation.

Invest in Quality Tools

  • Use a sturdy snow shovel or snow blower for efficient removal.
  • Ensure your tools are in good condition before winter begins.

Clear Pathways Safely

  • Prioritize clearing pathways, stairs, and driveways for safe pedestrian and vehicle access.
  • Remove ice patches to prevent slips and falls.

Use De-icing Materials

  • Apply environmentally-friendly de-icing materials like sand, kitty litter, or calcium chloride.
  • Avoid using rock salt, as it can be harmful to vegetation and pets.
  • Apply de-icing materials before a storm to prevent ice buildup.
  • Ensure proper drainage to minimize the risk of ice formation.

Shovel Regularly

  • Shovel in increments during heavy snowfall to avoid overwhelming accumulation.
  • Clear snow away from windows, vents, and fire hydrants.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

  • Push snow rather than lifting when possible to reduce strain.
  • Pace yourself, and take breaks to prevent overexertion.

Dress Appropriately

  • Wear warm, layered clothing, and ensure hands and feet are well-protected.
  • Use non-slip boots to prevent accidents on icy surfaces.

Ask for Help

  • If physically unable to shovel, ask for assistance from neighbors, friends, or hire professionals. Some cities have “Snow Angel” programs for those who are physically unable to complete snow removal themselves.
  • Consider hiring a snow removal service if needed.

Maintain Visibility

  • Clear snow from windows, mirrors, and lights on your vehicle.
  • Ensure your home address is visible for emergency services.

Protect Your Property

  • Move cars away from areas where snow will be piled during plowing.
  • Be cautious around landscaping to prevent damage during snow removal.

Check Roof Load

  • Monitor snow accumulation on roofs, and remove the snow there, if necessary, to prevent structural damage.

Community Collaboration

  • Collaborate with neighbors for shared snow removal efforts.
  • Inform each other of any assistance needed, especially for vulnerable residents.
  • Sign up to be a Snow Angels program and help out others in your community.

By following these tips, homeowners and renters can contribute to safer and more accessible communities during winter. Remember, safety should always be a top priority during snow removal activities.

As winter blankets the Tri-Cities in snow, let’s work together to keep our communities safe and accessible. Understanding and adhering to the residential snow removal bylaws in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody ensures a smoother winter for everyone. Stay warm, stay safe, and embrace the beauty of the snowy season in the Tri-Cities.

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