Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Pssssst... Hey, Calgarians... did you enjoy your commute today?

I know *I* did. My normal 1-hour commute only took 2 and a half hours this morning - VERY exciting!

You know who else had a great time? The 300-or-so motorists who were involved in collisions in the past 24 hours.

"Oh, but it just snowed. Had a big dumping." And you're right - we certainly did. The last of that big dumping fell... oh, 108 hours ago. Or so. And in the time since, we've had "51 sanders and ploughs out to clean up the roads - then we sent out as many as 75 this morning".

Whoah... back that up a second...

We had ploughs and sanders in RESERVE?

The city, that wants to ticket me for not clearing my own walk within 24 hours of the end of a snowfall, is telling me that they were holding sanders and ploughs in RESERVE, rather than ploughing or sanding my street 4 days after the snow fell?

Folks... if you were in a collision on an unploughed road on Tuesday, I think you'd better call your lawyer and ask them why the city thought that saving you $0.48 by not ploughing your neighbourhood was good public policy.

While you're at it - go take a stroll through Pump Hill and Mount Royal. I wonder if THEY got ploughed and sanded...

I'm not saying that snow removal is an easy job - clearly, it's not. But I don't think that I , and my million friends, are out of line for wanting to know why we can't seem to keep up, EVER, with the snow fall that we all KNOW is coming. This last storm we had been hearing about on the nightly news for 2 nights prior - "don't forget, the big winter storm is coming Friday afternoon - be ready".

Clearly, city administrators don't watch the news.

Folks, I don't know what plough operators do in June, and I don't much care. I don't begrudge them the time off, if that's what they get. But in DECEMBER, in one of the most populous and northerly cities on the planet, I expect that we've got every single machine out on those roads, 24 hours a day, until we get the snow and ice dealt with. We've got hundreds of people driving into each other, while we keep machines in reserve 4 days after a major snowfall that we had 48 hours warning about, and still haven't caught up to?

Calgarians are calling their aldermen (403-268-2430) demanding better snow removal for their money. Given that we're fresh out of chinooks for the near future, according to forecasters, this is as good a time as any to call and ask why steep hills in residential areas and exits onto major arteries aren't priorities for sanding. Or, if they're priorities on PAPER, why they're not being repeatedly done, rather than a single, quick pass a few hours after the last flakes. And why they're holding machines in reserve 4 days after a snowfall, when they are nowhere NEAR caught up to the snowfall of 4 days prior.

Need a refresher on the numbers?

My pleasure.

Look at that... just about a year, to the day, since my last rant about snow removal in this city.

And I betchya that Ward8Guy STILL hasn't heard back from his alderman.

EDIT Dec.19

City clearing snowy, icy roads "appropriately".

Ah, okay...

Well, as long as YOU think you're doing a good job, I guess everything's okay. Should we even bother with that pesky, expensive election in October 2010, do you think, or are you doing such a good job we should just let that slide?

So, just to be clear, we've gone from "We're doing everything humanly possible", to "we're doing everything we can afford", to "we're doing everything that labour law will let us do", to "we're doing enough. Stop your whining and slow down - hey, look, the Calgary Police want to talk to you all over there about preventing youth crime!".

Hell of a job, Bronco. Tomorrow, we'll hear about how Ed Stelmach is stopping the ploughs from getting to the West end of Calgary with his mean, partisan, city-hating politics...


wuzzles said...

(UsedToLiveIn)Ward8Guy here...

My alderman never emailed me back, but a staff-member of his did. All s/he mentioned was that the numbers I stole/borrowed from you regarding city size, budget, and annual snowfall for Edmonton and Calgary were *slightly* different than the numbers they had (the had Calgary being slightly larger, with slightly less snow per annum). That was it. I replied with the exact same email with their numbers in place of yours (since the point was still the same, and the number weren't very different) - but I heard nothing back.

Pretty exciting, eh?

Anonymous said...

Did you see this in today's Herald? Infuriating...

Enlightened Savage said...

wuzzles: Wow. Your tax dollars at work. What ward are you in now?

Naheed: I'm reminded of an experience I had at a local Safeway store about a year ago. We had spent literally 30 minutes in line at the check-out. When the lady in front of me actually got to the cashier, she good-naturedly made a comment, in a friendly way, about how she almost went to the deli to pick up a dinner to eat while in line. The cashier glared at her, said not a word, reached under the till and slammed down an application for employment onto the "cheque ledge".

The difference here being, these aren't just customers at a grocery store who are getting poor service, having the economy blamed and being told to "suck it up" - they're stock-holders in the City of Calgary, and they can't just go to the next municpality over and ask if Chestermere would mind ploughing their neighbourhood.

Allie Wojtaszek said...

Happy New Year ES!