While he recognises the city has to face economic realities, a local resident says sacrificing safety is not the way to go.
In a letter to council Doug Thomson said this year’s change to the snow clearing policy was making it “downright dangerous” for residents.
“Not only are side streets difficult to drive, but, as many also function as sidewalks, they have become very treacherous for pedestrians,” he pointed out.
“I have seen children walking to school while vehicles struggle past them, the drivers trying to avoid both the children and getting stuck.”
Thomson warned that anytime vehicles, people and treacherous conditions were mixed, “we’re asking for a tragedy.”
He also had complaints about the quality of snowclearing this year which he described as “uncharacteristically bad”.
For example, there had been repeated incidents where a small snowblower had cleared a sidewalk only for a snow plough to come by and fill the sidewalk in again.
He also had concerns about the speed those ploughs travelled city streets.
“I certainly don’t know how they could ever stop in an emergency situation,” he said, adding he had seen one slide halfway through the first Haisla Boulevard traffic lights (coming down the hill) with the blade down and the brakes locked.
As for sidewalks, they were rarely being ploughed and sanded, making walking treacherous.
Noting he had fallen three times trying to negotiate sidewalks despite the fact “I am careful, wear very good boots and have very good balance,” Thomson added, “Creating a situation where people, especially seniors, are faced with the option of dangerous walks or being shut-in is hardly a good, healthy community strategy.”
He closed by hoping “council will see fit to revisit this asinine policy before someone is seriously injured or killed”.
Council referred the matter to its next Committee of the Whole meeting.