Winter Maintenance Resource Guide

Who is responsible for winter maintenance—property owners or government agencies—and what are the challenges?

by Toole Design

Communities across North America are dedicating more space and priority to multimodal transportation infrastructure, and those in snowy climates often ask this question: “How should we maintain sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails in the winter?”

Winter maintenance is an important component of creating a comfortable environment for walking and bicycling year-round. This area of practice is unique, requiring specific legal, technical, and design considerations to operate successfully. With thoughtful planning, clear policies, agency coordination, and appropriate staffing and equipment, it’s possible to perform the winter maintenance needed to keep people walking and biking year-round.

This resource guide was developed specifically to answer important questions about winter maintenance for pedestrian and bicycle facilities and to help communities take a holistic look at their winter maintenance practices. We also recognize that maintenance is one component of a bigger-picture approach and that cities are leading the way in embracing a winter city culture that extends beyond snow and ice clearance on walkways and bikeways.

Attached document published December 2019

About the Author


Toole Design is committed to designing and building spaces where people can move freely and intuitively, enjoying the experience and becoming a part of the community instead of just moving through it.

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