Published online at GlobalTVEdmonton.com on February 2, 2011.
Linda Hoang, Global News: Wednesday, February 2, 2011
City tackling 72 neighbourhoods Thursday, hearing complaints about windrows
City crews will be working on plowing 72 residential neighbourhoods on Thursday.
As of Thursday morning 197 neighbourhoods had been cleared, leaving just over 25% of residential areas left to do before the city’s Saturday deadline.
The city says at this point what they’ve mainly been hearing from residents are complaints about windrows.
They are again reminding residents that under the city’s snow policy, windrows will not be cleared unless they are blocking driveways, fire hydrants, specific corners, or are in arterial or bus routes and school areas.
Brice Stephenson, the city’s transportation operations manager, said if residents are upset about windrows, they could take matters into their own hands.
“The windrows remain. We realize that people are losing on-street parking but certainly they are welcome to grab a shovel and shovel out that parking space if they would like,” Stephenson said.
He adds that there are many cities across Canada that have restrictions on on-street parking during the wintertime.
“The reality is that parking on the street is not a right, it is a convenience for people,” Stephenson said. “The expectation is that people will find space off-street or they can clear the spaces in front of their houses if they wish to move the snow.”
Bobcats hired by the city to follow behind graders are clearning windrows away from priority spots, but some Global Edmonton viewers are saying some bobcat operators are freelancing their services to clear away parking spots on the street as well, charging anywhere from $50 to $100.
The city says, that shouldn’t be happening.
“They’re certainly not supposed to be doing that,” Stephenson said. “Bobcats are under contract to us and their job is to clear driveways as quickly as they can and follow quickly behind the graders.”
Normally in an entire winter season the city will accumulate about 800,000 cubic metres of snow. So far this season the city has already brought in 1.1 million cubic metres.
Stephenson said the last time graders were called out into residential areas to plow to bare pavement was back in 2006. It took 14 days to fully complete plowing of neighbourhoods at that time.
With files from Shane Jones