1. #1
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    Lightbulb Snow Plows? We Do'n Need No Steenk'n Snow Plows....

    Ya some Bright Bulb in Edmonton, AB Ministry of Transportation thought that way.

    Crews taking it to your street
    With streets turning to gumbo, city will spend $3.5M on a residential cleanup.

    Renata D'Aliesio and Nathan VanderKlippe The Edmonton Journal

    The PLOWS ARE COMING. FINALLY.: Graders and truck plows headed into residential neighbourhoods last night after the city received thousands of complaints over impassable roads.

    EDMONTON - As graders start picking away at a month's worth of snow on residential streets, city council will consider today whether they should automatically be cleaned the next time winter storms overwhelm Edmonton.

    City transportation spokeswoman Shawna Randolph said Monday the department would spend up to $3.5 million over the next two weeks clearing residential roads and alleys, which aren't covered by the $20.7-million snow-control budget.

    Over the past five days, the city has received about 1,000 calls a day from residents complaining about driving conditions. And it's not just cars that are skidding or getting stuck. Sport utility vehicles, tow trucks and fire trucks have all had trouble navigating through rutted residential streets.

    On Monday morning, parents in Mill Woods had to help dig out Ronni Oxley's Briggs bus, carrying 22 special-needs students. The children were 25 minutes late for school.

    "We know that the problem will get worse if we don't take action now," said Barry Belcourt, the city's director of roadway maintenance.

    Randolph insisted the thousands of complaints didn't influence the department's decision to move full force into the city's residential streets and alleys, calling in 82 private contractors to help city crews clear the snow."This decision was based solely on the fact that the transportation and streets department staff ... has gone out and on their own decided that there are far too many streets with trouble spots that need attention."

    The last time snow-removal equipment moved into residential streets was January 1999, when the city spent $2 million and five days clearing the roads. Residential streets were also cleared in 1996, 1994 and 1992.

    On Monday, several councillors said they wished the streets department had decided to take action sooner. In January, the city received 57.8 centimetres of snow, more than double the month's average of 24.5 cm. This past weekend another 7.8 cm fell, Environment Canada meteorologist Dan Kulak said. Five more centimetres were expected by this morning.

    "I think it's a good decision," councillor Karen Leibovici said. "It's been constant phone calls in regards to the need to remove the snow."

    At today's city council meeting, councillor Allan Bolstad will present a motion asking the administration to develop a more appropriate snow-clearing policy for residential streets. He introduced a similar motion in '99, but it was rejected by council in a 8-4 vote. He said he's optimistic the motion will pass this time.

    Coun. Stephen Mandel agrees a better snow-removal policy is needed, but said council will have to consider how to pay for it. The city's reserve fund, at $60 million, will likely cover this year's tab.

    "The citizens need to be taken care of. That's why they pay taxes," Mandel said. "But citizens have to know that it's not free."

    Residents, towing companies, bus drivers and emergency workers welcomed Monday's announcement. Garry Ternowski, owner of Kingsway Towing Group, said the city's recent warm temperatures are making a bad situation worse. "If it was still 28 or 30 below, the snow would be hard and we wouldn't be sinking like we are."

    Alberta Motor Association trucks have been responding to about 300 calls a day to extract vehicles from the winter gumbo, which is far higher than normal.

    Wayne Evans was one of those people. He had to call AMA to get his truck towed out of a parking spot Monday morning. And so was Elizabeth Wheaton, who freed her car from an icy parking spot with the assistance of AMA tow truck driver Lawrence Logozar.

    "There's just no place to drive, really," Wheaton said. "You've got to drive right down the middle. It's not safe."

    rd'aliesio@thejournal.canwest.com

    Copyright 2003 Edmonton Journal


    I don't know about anyone else, but if is snows, you need plows. Makes sense to me, but what do I know? I'm just an army geek with a fun job on the side.
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    City transportation spokeswoman Shawna Randolph said Monday the department would spend up to $3.5 million over the next two weeks clearing residential roads and alleys, which aren't covered by the $20.7-million snow-control budget.
    So what exactly do they spent their snow-control budget on?
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    I am surprized that none of the politicians thought to suggest that since the firefighters are sitting around doing nothing most of the time that they could shovel the streets. Boy I sure hope politicians don't read this, I am living dangerously even suggesting that.

    This issue comes as no surprize as civic politicians aren't usually the sharpest spoons in the drawer and Edmonton is no acception. Who can forget the Edmonton Alderman (you know who he is, T.G.) who suggested seriously that they could flood the streets so that people could skate to work. This fits right in because then you wouldn't need snowplows, just Zamboni's.

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    Personally I'd be sending the bill for the tow to City Council for payment. This is nuts. How can they say that clearing residential streets isn't their responsibility? Can you say LIABILITY?????

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    How can you spend $3.5 millon cleaning 12 inches of snow???? Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's what my conversion table works out 57cm to. Last Friday I went to bed at 12mid and when I woke up there was 18 inches on the back deck at 7am!! The village streets had all been plowed and life goes on as usual.That's been a weekly thing all winter. The Oswego-Syracuse area has gotten well over 3 feet in the last twenty four hours.( that would be 91 cm). All the municipalities clear the snow and do a pretty good job of it.Granted it may sometimes be a challenge in the more urban areas of where to put the stuff .
    It just seems to me that it would be a given that places such as Edmunton,Calgary, or any other city in Canada that sends those "Alberta Clippers" across the great lakes to us would be set up to deal with such minimal snowfalls.

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    Yeah but we do send you these weather patterns free of charge. I believe it's part of NAFTA.

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    Actually Flathead, your conversion is not correct. 30cm is equal to 12 inches, so 57cm would be just short of 2 feet worth of snow, but your main point is still current:

    3.5 Mill for snow clearing? Somebody is making a killing on this.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Thanks for the correction on the measurement MAL. Never could figure out the metric thing and I even used the computer for the conversion . Go figure!
    Of course I always find it a chuckle when the news media reports that 3-4 inches of snow paralyzed Virginia or the Carolinas. I believe the last "snow storm" there,CBS news interviewed a hardware store owner and he had sold out of all his snow shovels, ALL FIVE OF THEM.Then there are always the pictures of snowplows on the garbage trucks in NYC.

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