Understanding Snow Routes: Know When to Move Your Car

Snow plough driving down a snow covered street

Most of our major cities in Alberta have snow route programs, which allow plowing crews to clear important roadways efficiently after a major snowfall. When a snow route parking ban is in effect, residents who live along the affected road are not be allowed to park vehicles on the street for a set period of time. Paying attention to the weather – and the rules for snow route parking – is one of the easiest ways to lower your risk of a a bylaw infraction and a car insurance claim in Alberta this winter.

Rules of the (Snowy) Road: The Basics of Snow Route Parking Bans

While it can be an inconvenience to be forced to park your vehicle somewhere different than usual, snow route parking bans don’t happen often, and you’ll always have a way to find out before a ban goes into effect. The penalties for parking during a ban generally include the inconvenience of a ticket and tow. We’ll cover the basics of what to expect for each of Alberta’s major cities, and clicking on any city name in our list will bring you right to that municipality’s detailed snow route page.

  • Calgary – Snow route parking bans in Calgary typically occur a few times each year, and the city will provide notice one or two days prior to a ban. You can sign up for automatic parking ban alerts by visiting the city website, or check local radio/television stations before a ban goes into place. Check the snow route parking map for Calgary to determine whether you live along a snow route.
  • Edmonton – The snow route rules in Edmonton are mostly the same as those in Calgary, but there are a few differences. Edmonton provides notice at least eight hours prior to a parking ban, and the ban lasts until the city lifts it, rather than for a set period of time. You can find the snow route map for Edmonton right here.
  • Fort McMurray – Unlike in other Alberta cities, snow route parking bans in Fort McMurray work on a regular, rotating schedule from Oct. 15 through April 15 each year. Each neighbourhood is divided into five “winter maintenance zones,” and each maintenance zone is cleared on the same weekday throughout the winter season. Knowing that your street will always be cleared on the same day makes it easier to develop alternative parking plans.
  • Lethbridge – Like in Calgary and Edmonton, snow route parking bans in Lethbridge occur on an as-needed basis. Signing up for e-notifications is the easiest way to find out when a parking ban is upcoming, but you can also check the radio, local news, and city website for information. The city government recommends watching out for heavy snowfall events, in order to anticipate potential parking bans.
  • Red Deer – Thanks to the convenient, colour-coded Know Your Snow Zone map provided by the city, it’s easy to find out whether you live on a snow route in Red Deer. Green Routes tend to be the busiest of Red Deer’s snow zones, and are cleared most frequently. The program in Red Deer is a bit different than the other cities on our list, but the system is easy to follow once you learn the details.

Bow Valley Insurance

Learning the details of your city’s snow routes ahead of time will make life much easier when a parking ban goes into place. It’s also a good idea to brush up on your cities rules for clearing sidewalks, as well as the essentials for safe driving in wintry conditions. Reducing your risk of a weather-related mishap starts with proper preparation.

Our team at Bow Valley Insurance is proud to provide diverse home insurance and car insurance solutions for residents. Start shopping today with a free home insurance quote or car insurance quote from our team!