City fields snowplowing complaints

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Sixth Avenue West resident Fred Routley is seen next to the mound of snow that tumbles onto the sidewalk in front of his home. 

Walking down his driveway, Fred Routley’s brow furrows when he comes to the mound of snow piled up on the curb in front of his Sixth Avenue West house.

 

“They just dump all out here,” he said pointing to the base of his driveway. “I couldn’t get my car out of my driveway.”

Although the 84-year-old said that he’s still able to move the snow, his greatest concern is with the youngsters who run along the snow ridge that lines the avenue.

“If they fall down somebody’s going to get injured,” he said, noting that if a kid falls the wrong way they might land in traffic.

“The ridge along the curb is the biggest complaint this year and I don’t know why,” city roadways manager Brent Kennedy said after Routley’s complaint was relayed to him. “I mean, this is the way the city has done it since I’ve been here.”

When it comes to curbs, Kennedy asks, “Where else can we put the snow?”

Within the snow removal budget there’s not enough money for snow removal in most areas, with crews limited to snowplowing.

Tacked to snow removal is “quite a dollar cost,” he added.

“You’re looking at a grader and an operator for about $90 an hour, then we’re pushing that price up to probably about $400 (to) $500 an hour just to start moving snow.”

The reason that we plow at this time of year is, we want to get the snowpack down to within four to five inches, because when it warms up and cars start breaking through, then they won’t even drive down the street. Brent Kennedy

Recognizing that not everyone will be satisfied with the city’s snowplowing and snow removal services, Kennedy encourages those with concerns to call 953-4900.

“We try and get back to them within 24 hours of the call,” he said. “If we couldn’t get there within 24 hours, we would give them a … call just to let them know what we’re going to do or if we’re not going to do it.”

Civic crews are currently about halfway through residential snowplowing, Kennedy said, having already plowed priority streets.

“The reason that we plow at this time of year is, we want to get the snowpack down to within four to five inches, because when it warms up and cars start breaking through, then they won’t even drive down the street.”

When it comes to the seasonal narrowing of streets, Kennedy reminds the public to remain courteous of other drivers and to pull over when necessary. 

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  • Concerned Grandmother
    February 06, 2014 - 10:09

    Some of this happens when some of the neighbours will not get their vehicles off the street when they "know" plows will be coming. They either ignore it or they have some reasons why they can't get them off the street.