Well we are through what might go down as the Great Snowfall of the Winter of 2011/12 in Edmonton. Starting Friday evening and through Saturday February 25th the snow came down steadily and the City slowed right down. I had to take the car out on the streets of central Edmonton a few times on Saturday and it was tense. the streets were heavy with snow and slippery. At one point I just barely made it up Alex Taylor Road. I do have snow tires but they were rendered useless. I could reluctantly accept this on the residential streets for a few days but I do not expected on the main drags for a couple of days. I was amazed as I drove about not to have seen a single grader out working the streets.
My gripe, my puzzlement, is why did the main route parking restrictions for the serious snow clearing only go into effect on Monday morning at 7 AM. This should have happened at 7 PM on Friday evening. This winter storm was well forecast, so I don’t understand why we (the City) weren’t better prepared. Time and again we (again the City) seem to have this deer in the headlights look, “oh, snow … did it snow … isn’t that unusual … I guess we should do something about it”!
Sure I can appreciate that it would be cheaper to only go over the streets once and that seems to be the motivation – “let’s be sure that all the snow that is going to fall has fallen, so we only have to do this once”. To me this is like waiting to deal with a heart attack victim with a clogged artery “Yeah, lets just wait and see if another artery fails before we go in and do something”. The streets are the arteries of this City, we need safe traffic flow – weekend or not.
From what I saw, the street clean-up proceeded very nicely today (Monday). Helped by the sun, the main routes were very passable – even if some lanes had disappeared under the rows of plowed snow.