With winter on our doorstep, the debate around our Snow and Ice Control Policy and the use of calcium chloride returned to Council earlier this month. After a long and in-depth debate, Council ultimately voted against using calcium chloride on our roadways during the 2019-20 winter season. While calcium chloride will not be used on our roads, it will continue to be used on other pathways in the city, including: bike lanes, multi-use paths, and public sidewalks.
The City of Edmonton’s Snow and Ice Policy, which governs how we manage our roadways and pathways in the winter, is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. In recent years, through public engagement and consultations, Edmontonians have voiced their preference for bare pavement on our roadways. In an effort to achieve bare pavement, the City of Edmonton rolled out an Anti-Icing Pilot Program, whereby calcium chloride was the primary anti-icing agent used on our roads. In the 3 years since the Pilot program was introduced, it is clear that the experiment has proved much more controversial than Council or Administration could have anticipated.
The City of Edmonton has been monitoring the impacts of our calcium chloride use throughout the Pilot program. The reported benefits of the program, such as: increased safety and decreased cost (less sand being used), seem to be heavily outweighed by serious concerns about the potential long-term effects on the environment, infrastructure, and property. Despite the added anti-corrosion inhibitor to the calcium chloride solution, residents reported noticing an increase in corrosion on their vehicles and property.
During the course of the pilot program, I received endless emails from constituents expressing their concerns with the use of calcium chloride. As such, I ultimately voted against the continued use of calcium chloride on our roadways. With this anti-icing solution off the table, the Parks and Roads team will use different tools to manage snow and ice on Edmonton roads. This will inevitably result in an increased reliance on mechanism methods of snow removal like plowing. Administration has noted that, without the use of an anti-icer, it will be difficult to consistently achieve bare pavement. As such, I would encourage residents to take the necessary precautions to ensure that they are driving to road conditions when the snow comes.
Lastly, if there is any feedback you’d like to share on any number of issues, please do not hesitate to contact me! You can always send me an email or give my office a call to share any feedback on any issue. To contact me please call 780-496-8148 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.