Rocky View Publishing assistant editor is urging residents to clear their sidewalks
Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 12:43 pm
One of my favourite things to do after work is to take the dog out for a long walk.
It’s a way for me to stomp out the frustrations that come with any career choice and reflect on decisions made and plan for the next day.
It used to be anyways, because recently it’s become more dangerous and infuriating than relaxing.
Airdrie residents, clear off your sidewalks, it’s simple. Buy a bag of salt, shovel the snow, chip at the ice and be a good neighbour.
I can’t tell you how many times my dog and I have slipped and fallen on someone’s sidewalk that hasn’t been cleared.
Now, there are some of you who are responsible neighbours, and to you, I say thank you. It makes a massive difference.
To those of you that are too busy, remember that it is your responsibility, not the City’s to clear the sidewalks, if you feel that it’s an inconvenience to do so, keep in mind it can come with a $300 fine.
That being said, it’s not just the sidewalks that are in horrid conditions, some of our great city’s back streets are still covered in snow – six weeks after our first snow event.
Local roads are classed as Priority 4 on the City’s snow removal schedule.
According to the City, residential plowing occurs when the road is rendered impassable or in extenuating circumstances. In the residential areas, snow is plowed to boulevards, side yards or open spaces.
Now, I understand that Dec. 2 and 3, 2013 snow event was extreme, and it’s left a ton of snow in it’s wake, but it’s been six weeks now, how much longer do we as taxpayers have to wait.
Walking through the residential streets near Nose Creek Park, there are piles of snow still blocking cars in on the streets, the Canals residential area is in terrible condition, and I’m sure there are plenty of other streets that are in comparable conditions.
So what’s the plan then, what can residents do to take matters into their own hands? Well, nothing really, besides getting out there and actually shoveling their streets, and the aforementioned sidewalks.
Residents in a community can’t ban together to hire snow removal, that’s against bylaw, as it could damage the city streets, developers can’t plow their community’s streets for the same reason, and surprisingly residents can’t place the snow removed from sidewalks and driveways onto the roadway or any public space, as it is also against city bylaw.
So I guess we wait until the next Chinook, because that seems to be a common theme in southern Alberta, but does it actually work?
For the month of December 2013, Environment Canada recorded 12 days in the month that were above zero degrees, the average of those 12 days was 6.2°C. For the first half of January, it’s been quite balmy really, with10 days were temperatures have been above zero – for an average of 5°C.
Again, granted that December 2013 saw two and a half times more snow than average, the idea that warmer temperatures will be part of the City’s snow removal policy, just proved itself wrong.
We need a better plan, it’s simple.
If you know your neighbour physically can’t maintain the sidewalks or driveway because of impairment, please do the right thing and help them.
If you’re too busy to clear your sidewalks pay someone to do it or call me, I’ll come and clear the sidewalks; because in the end, it’s better than a bruised or broken tailbone.