City struggling to keep the streets clear of snow
The city fielded 70 snow-clearing complaints and counting in the 24 hours after Monday’s storm that left residents up to their knees. Many stemmed from snow pushed back onto previously cleared streets, either by commercial contractors or frustrated homeowners.
“It’s a big problem for us, especially where driveways are being cleared onto the roadway,” said winter control manager Bob Paul. He said local street clearing — and in some cases, re-clearing — will continue through Wednesday.
City bylaw officers are cracking down on snow dumping “problem areas” like the North End and west lower city, said enforcement manager Kim Coombs, noting residents risk a $105 fine for dumping snow back in the street.
But outraged residents on the east Mountain say the city’s own plows are to blame.
Sarah Nunes was part of a neighbourhood effort to quickly clear all sidewalks along East 35th Street after Monday’s storm. But later that night, snow banks on the street were shoved onto those painstakingly cleared walkways.
“We’re talking piles three times higher than our snowblowers and hard as a rock,” she said. “What are we supposed to do about that?”
Ward Councillor Tom Jackson said he visited several streets in his ward that suffered similar treatment, including East 31st, Virginia Court and Seventh Avenue.
“Some operator showed a reckless disregard,” said Jackson, who asked public works to investigate and send city equipment to clean up the mess. “It’s totally unfair, totally an insult to ask residents to deal with that.”
Paul said the city had complaints about a particular operator but added the plowing problem was “corrected” and represented the exception, rather than the rule. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)