On March 17, 2014 Toronto's Public Works Committee adopted a Staff Report which proposed winter maintenance improvements to create a network of cycling snow routes. New, higher standards for snow plowing, salting, and snow removal on these routes were identified.
The routes in the report were identified as "high volume" cycling routes, which would benefit from an enhanced level of winter maintenance. Routes where 2,000+ a day have been counted are considered to be high volume cycling routes.
Toronto first started clearing it's Waterfront Trail for year-round use in 2009. As Cycle Tracks which are separate from the adjacent traffic lane are installed, it becomes necessary to perform winter maintenance, as separated bike lanes cannot be plowed along with the rest of the roadway.
The winter of 2015/16 will be the first year that winter maintenance targeting a network of on-street routes designated for winter cycling will be taken in Toronto's downtown area.
The City's 2009 Cycling Survey asked Toronto Residents whether they would consider cycling in the winter, and 29% of respondents indicated that they would, if there were snow clearing improvements.
Learn more about the plowing, salting and snow removal operations for the Cycling Snow Routes Network, by reading the staff report.
photo: Richmond Street West Cycle Track, near Bathurst