Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hey! Council! Leave Those Cars Alone!

I have resisted posting about the snow and its removal from the streets of Edmonton for a while, and now I am really pleased I did, because I have a real doozy.
My car is a standard, and I have it equipped with all season tires that served me well last winter, and I assumed would continue to do the same. This year, in Edmonton, I was stuck in the snow severely enough to be pulled out no fewer than seven times. One time I even parked on what I had perceived to be solid ground, but turned out to be a ramp of slippery ice that ducked my car nose first into a wind row and refused to let me back up. That incident occurred at ten o'clock at night, while I was alone, in my belly-dancing gear, on 118th avenue, which, although it is getting better due to some valiant community efforts, is not the place for a lady to be stuck at a scary hour of the night. Ordinarily I would consider this my own fault for not investing in better tires, and concluded the matter by shaking my fist at the sky that cursed me with such snow, but when I consider it took over a month for the snow to be successfully removed from Edmonton, while St. Albert, its arguably sleeker northern neighbor, and even little Morinville had the snow removed within one to two weeks respectively. Needless to say, I was a bit choked to hear the following sentiments from Edmonton's councilors.

They were debating, today, just as I walked in, evaluating the Edmonton snow removal program to possibly revamp it for future efficiency, something, one councilor vouchsafed, they have been considering since the mid 1970's. As they pondered back and forth (Really, how bad are three foot wind-rows?) one councilor, Jane Batty, spoke up in defense of the snow program, outlining how she believed Edmontonians should have better tires, and implying that we should all take partial blame for getting stuck. Let me say that again; She believes we should take partial blame for not having better vehicles.

This whole argument crumbles when you consider how city council whined that even their snow removal trucks were getting stuck and the fact that other cities seem to have handled okay without mass catastrophe. (unless they had a really big sale on winter tires the week before...) Councilor Ed Gibbons was quick to point out that the council acknowledged that they had been caught "with [their] pants down", and so you would assume that the council would side with the motion and deal with this outrageous problem.

Not so. Kim Krushell raised a motion to defer the report to March 8th, and despite Kerry Diotte's staunch view that they should move immediately, the motion to defer was approved by everyone present, except for Mr. Diotte. So it will be at least March 8th before reforms to the snow program are even sniffed at.
Perhaps the citizens of Edmonton should petition for a car allowance so we can all afford the kind of cars council feels we should have.


Joe said...

Clearly they should pay for me to have a higher car. Unfortunately, I have had to make many a blind turn because the wind rows are so high at corners that I cannot see over them. Now I know how short people feel...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I'm with the dudes who wanted to wait until March 8th, presuming that they were waiting for a report from administration on what their options for a new snow-removal strategy are.
If they were just going to enact an emergency measure and spend like drunken sailors to get the snow off the streets - NOW! - then I'd be OK with that. But how on earth do you come up with an entirely new (and hopefully better-working) snow removal strategy without getting some options from administration on what to change to?
Councillors, obviously, are not snow-removal experts (though some might say the same about the administration, as they probably came up with the idea for the current plan) but they can't pull ideas out of thin air (or anywhere else) and have much chance of them working.
Let them look at the studies and get ready for next year.
lol, mapa