How it works

Understanding the snow & ice program

Red Deer’s snow and ice plan prioritizes maintaining safety, restoring mobility, providing well-maintained roadways, trails and sidewalks, and being accountable to our community. With more than 1200 lane kilometers of roads, 250+ kms of sidewalks and trails, and hundreds of bus stops to clear, snow events big or small, create an all-hands-on-deck response to get Red Deerians moving.

We use a coloured route system to identify different types of streets and their priority for salt, sand and plowing. Streets are divided into one of six coloured routes:

How it works graphic

  Purple Red Blue Orange Green Grey
  Hills, Bridges, Overpasses & Hospital Access Arterial roads, prioritizing high-collision intersections Downtown Industrial & commercial Residential: collectors, transit routes and school zones Residential: local (smaller) residential roads
Priority: Mobility restored within 8 hours Mobility restored within 72 hours Mobility restored within 4 days Mobility restored within 5 days Mobility restored within 7 calendar days Mobility restored within 7 calendar days
Desired outcome: Cleared to bare pavement Cleared to bare pavement Cleared to bare pavement Safe and passable, manageable windrows left along both sides of street Safe and passable, windrows removed Safe and passable, manageable windrows left along both sides of street
Restoring mobility includes plowing, windrow management, providing traction control, re-treating, Sanding, Salting & Brining.

Find out what route colour you live or work on here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s changing this winter?

We are focused on restoring mobility and ensuring accessibility this winter. To improve our residential snow control program, we will be expanding our 24-hour operations to include residential routes. This means when a residential plow campaign is triggered, we will be working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until residential routes (Green and Grey) are cleared. This will reduce the amount of time it takes to complete residential plowing from approximately 20 calendar days in the past, to just 7 days per route.

What is changing related to transit clearing?

This winter, transit stops are being cleared sooner to restore mobility quicker. Priority 1 stops will be cleared within 1 day, Priority 2 by day 3, and Priority 3 by day 7. 

What is changing related to sidewalk, staircase, neighbourhood & Waskasoo Park trails clearing by The City?

This winter, we are enhancing our trail and sidewalk clearing to restore integrated mobility sooner for pedestrians. Within three days of each snow event, we currently clear nearly 130 kilometres of public sidewalks throughout the city. During this pilot, we are expanding to clear an additional 16km of Grey Route sidewalks (also known as second-side sidewalks), 68km of neighbourhood asphalt trails, and 35km of Waskasoo Park Trails including several staircases. To see a full map of where will be clearing, visit the Snow and Ice Control Sidewalk and Trail Clearing Map (pdf)

How much is this pilot going to cost The City?

Our annual winter maintenance operating budget is $6.7 million. Through this pilot program, we are looking at our entire operations to fit in the newly adopted Safety Maintenance and Mobility Hierarchies and are analyzing our operations and reporting on our costs this winter to determine our ongoing service commitments.

Why is this only a pilot, what’s the plan going forward?

We are making these changes in an effort to be responsive to the community’s mobility needs and feedback we’ve received in previous winters. However, we recognize it will be necessary to make adjustments. Throughout the winter, we will be asking for resident input on how the changes are working, and where additional changes might need to be considered. Following this winter, a revised recommendation and ongoing budget ask will go to City Council for consideration.

I have input on how you can do things differently!

Great! We encourage our citizens to get involved and share their perspectives, ideas and input throughout the winter season at

When will residential plowing begin?

We are focused on restoring mobility and ensuring accessibility this winter. A residential plowing campaign will be triggered when mobility is negatively impacted, with triggering factors including, but not limited to: snowfall, forecast, freeze/thaw cycles and snowpack. In previous years, snowpack was our only trigger, but this year we will be more responsive and flexible so we can restore mobility and improve accessibility sooner. This year, all Green Routes will be completed in advance of a Grey Route plowing campaign.

How can I find out where you’re plowing? When will you plow my street?

You can track our daily operations at Find Your Route. We also post updates on social media, will place signage in your community, and send Notify Red Deer alerts.

  • Sign up to receive alerts by text, email or phone and we will let you know when your neighbourhood is scheduled. Sign up using Notify Red Deer.
  • Check the map. Search by address to know when you can expect to see plows in your neighbourhood.
  • Watch for no parking signs around your neighbourhood. Signs are placed at the entrances to each neighbourhood, and No Parking sandwich boards will be placed on all Green and Grey Routes.
How do I know if I live on a Green or Grey Route?

Green and Grey Routes are how we distinguish the two types of residential streets we have in our city.

  • Green Routes are the busier roads in each neighbourhood and consist of collector roads and City Transit routes (streets, drives, etc). They typically have higher traffic volumes and provide access to residential streets. Often Green Routes have a yellow line painted down the centre.
  • Grey Routes are quieter residential streets (closes, crescents, etc) and typically have a lower traffic volume.

Find your route by searching your address here.

Will there be parking bans?

Yes. When a residential plow campaign is triggered, a parking ban will first happen on all Green Routes, and then on all Grey Routes. The parking ban will be in effect at all hours (including overnight) until a street is completed. Learn more about parking restrictions.

Who clears mailboxes?

Canada Post clears snow in front of community mailboxes. Visit their website to submit an online request to have an area cleared.

Why should I sign up for Snow Alerts?

By signing up for Notify Red Deer, you can receive your choice of text, email or phone notification about when plowing is scheduled on your street so you can avoid a ticket and move your vehicle.

How do I sign up?

Visit Notify Red Deer and select Snow Alerts.

Can I sign up for alerts for more than one address?

Yes, when you sign up for Notify Red Deer, you can enter any location that you wish to receive alerts for (home, work, school or daycare, family members' homes). You will then receive Snow Zone alerts for all addresses entered in Notify Red Deer.