Snow Removal Needs Improvement

by Catherine,

I  want to start by saying that the crews that remove the snow have a thankless job and do it well.  My concerns are about the city's policies pertaining to snow removal.

I live on a street that for years was "local" and got almost no snow removal.  Unless enough snow fell the plow did not come by.  So, we would get repeated snow falls of a less than 7.5 cm and each layer of snow would build up on the layer below and be compressed by the cars and turned into a skating rink.  We received no salt or sand.

We are now a secondary road so that has at least improved.  However, what has remained constant is that the plow clears the centre of the road wherever there is a curve and thus, our driveway becomes about 4' - 6' longer in the winter.  Forcing us to have to shovel the road as well as our driveway.  This extra pile of snow on the road stops the melting snow from flowing to the drain, causing it to back-up and form ice at the end of the driveways.

During a freezing rain event, there was no salt put down.  I stopped at a stop sign and then when I gently pressed the gas to make a left hand turn I slid on the ice for more than 100 yards.  When I contacted the city, rather than do anything about the road conditions, I was then berated and told that the laws of physics would not have let me slide on the ice this way, and instead, I was an irresponsible driver.

The windrow at the end of our driveway has been so large and so compressed that we have had to use garden spades and an axe to cut through it.  While we are relatively fit adults, we should not have to spend the night using an axe to cut through the ice the city has piled in our driveway so that we can bget our cars in.

I am happy to see that there are two public meetings scheduled to discuss winter snow maintenance.  However, both meetings are schedule for weekdays and will occur during normal working hours.  This ensures that those of us who would like to attend are not able to.  I have to assume that the City was trying to make sure that any negative feedback on this issue would be limited.  They can have a low turnout and then say that it would appear that Markham residents have nothing to say about this issue, when if fact, they have designed the process to limit comment.

I was born and raised in a small village in the north and they have better snow removal than Markham.  I lived for several years in North York, including during the great snowfall when the army was called out, and the plows cleared the snow and windrows faster than Markham.

This is Canada.  We get snow for several months of the year.  Why we have to have a debate about snow removal every year is beyond me.  It needs to be done, so budget for it.

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