Snow removal is an art, and an expensive one at that. If you have ever lived on a busy street you will know that. All sorts of hardware is needed to keep the streets and sidewalks pristine and safe for transportation. There are the trucks, the tractors, the snow blowers, the salt and gravel trailers…these things aren’t cheap. On a busy street, during an average snow fall, the plow trucks go by about 3 times and the sidewalk plows go by at least twice. Don’t get me wrong…these things are needed. We couldn’t do without them!
My whine today is about when enough is enough. Take the sidewalk snow plows for example They are critically important on busy streets to ensure that cars and pedestrians are isolated from each other and to ensure that pedestrians can walk safely without falling down.
My street, however, is a side-street , with only minimal traffic. My preference would be to have no sidewalk plowing because I find the sidewalks largely useless (they are always plowed days after the roads have been cleared so you spend a lot of time walking down the road anyway). But, and it is a big but, I have many neighbours that do not share my view, so lets just agree that the sidewalks do need to be plowed and put that argument to bed.
The trouble I have is the quality of the sidewalk plowing. I live on a curve in the road near a path to a park. I always try to keep the sidewalks near my house clean and clear for pedestrians because lots of people do use those sidewalks and I just feel better if they can walk there safely and in comfort.
When the city sends in its sidewalk plows, they do a fairly good job of the straight-a ways, but when they get to the curve near my house, they plows seem to be unable to keep the blades near the ground and they end up leaving a foot or more of hard packed snow all down the length of the curve (and on my driveway…but that is another matter). So what starts out as a clean and clear sidewalk ends up with a foot of bumpy, difficult to traverse snow when they finish. They also leave a pile of snow at the entrance to the path, which makes getting onto the path difficult and dangerous.
My suggestion to the city is this. Instruct their staff that if the place they plow looks worse when they finish than it did when they began, stop and do it over, or just don’t do it in the first place.
- Councillor pushing for municipality to clear all sidewalks in HRM (metronews.ca)
- Blizzard to cost Newton $1.5 million (wickedlocal.com)
- RE: Why does the City plow alleys anyway? (mywheelsareturning.com)
- Plowing Policy (06880danwoog.com)