Tuesday, January 06, 2009

This makes me mad!

From my city's website regarding snow removal:

City crews maintain 310 kms of designated routes—all major thoroughfares and all bus routes—with up to 12 trucks, salting, sanding and plowing during snow storms, as well as clearing sidewalks in front of civic facilities and bus stops. ...

The City’s response actually starts before the snow begins to fall. Staff receive daily weather reports for the next 48 hour period. If snow is forecast, crews start working up to 12 hours ahead laying down salt on the roads to prevent ice build up. As salt becomes ineffective on its own with temperatures below –6 C, sand is added to the mix during colder periods.

(City's) side streets are not part of the 310 km of designated snowclearing and salting routes; to include them would require far greater resources than the City currently has, and (City's) typography, weather patterns and street design make that a less effective use of those resources. Typically, snow storms such as today’s occur about 12 times per season.

You have got to be kidding me. First of all, if you had driven around the major roads you would realize that they have BARELY been plowed. Four-lane roads have become two-and-a-half lane roads. The major roads we live near have definitely not been plowed. And also, 310 km? I am doubtful. And re: side streets - this is a city that was developed such that almost everyone lives on a side street. The subdivisions have winding, curving roads that isolate each subdivision from the main road. This isn't a city where a grid was laid down to determine the streets. Instead it appears one grid was laid down for the big roads, then they allowed a child to draw curlicues inside the grid to determine where the small roads would go. In other words, unless you live on a major road, you can't even get to and from your house in a big snowfall, because the city doesn't have enough resources, and doesn't consider the side roads important.

The last sentence kills me. Snowstorms like this 12 times a season and they are STILL unprepared. No fricking way. This city spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on useless stuff (millions on the Oval!) like beautifying the medians with flowers. And they must have to pay their city staff overtime to do it, since those folks work at night to plant. Roads are paved and repaved every few years regardless of whether we need it. City Hall is always nicely maintained. At Christmas, thousands of lights are strung up. I frankly think that these efforts are lovely and all, but spending a little more on snowplowing WOULD BE FAR MORE APPRECIATED. They could get a few Bobcats and drive them around some side roads - even if some of the larger side roads were plowed, that would give us all a headstart.

But no. Enjoy your flowers, people, that is, if the snow ever melts in time to plant new ones. Because of course! The City can only plant annuals, not perennials.



ArC said...

" Instead it appears one grid was laid down for the big roads, then they allowed a child to draw curlicues inside the grid to determine where the small roads would go"

This is entirely intentional. I guess Richmond's roads were laid out during the period where city planners believed in the "traffic as water" theory. (Aalternatively, it was developers who did it because houses on cul-de-sacs sell better even if collectively they are worse for society at large.) Anyways, the only problem with the "traffic is like water" theory is that people driving from place to place aren't like drops of water at all in that they aren't interchangeable.

the door is ajar said...

city owning 12 trucks? maybe. but all 12 trucks salting/sanding/plowing? i think not.

to believe there are that many trucks out there clearing the streets would be like believing that unicorns, easter bunnies, lephracans, and S____ C____ exist. hmph!

re: why sidestreets don't get cleared http://www.francesbula.com/?p=884