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Remember when the city said people complaining about the lack of snow removal had unreasonable expectations? They changed their mind.

Posted on 23 February 2014

What a difference a month (and some internal analysis) makes.

In January the city’s superintendent of operations Bill Gall delivered this report on snow removal (emphasis is mine):

“Over the years, some residents have come to expect immediate relief after a snow fall…

The City’s snow clearing efforts have not changed. What is changing is the weather events and the volume of snow per storm event, and more importantly, resident expectations.”

So the big difference was my expectations were too high? This surprised me, because I thought the conditions I was seeing were worse than in the past. As I wrote:

“we are closing in on a month since you could drive on our street at anything over 20 km/h, if at all. And we’re not alone, there are many other streets as bad as ours. People haven’t been receiving UPS deliveries because of ‘hazardous weather conditions’ and more than one Amazon package hasn’t come to our house because the driver doesn’t want to come onto our road.”

Well, a month later and a more in-depth report from the city and it turns out maybe, just maybe, unreasonable resident expectations weren’t the reason people were saying snow clearing was worse than usual. According to the report, snow clearing was, in fact, worse than usual. Some highlights:

I highlight the issue of equipment because there was a little dust-up where after being told that all the city’s equipment was operating at all times, councillor Brian Skakun snapped a photo of parked equipment and posted in on Facebook, questioning whether this was true or not. Turns out it wasn’t.

I’m also interested to learn that the practice of clearing some streets multiple times while ignoring others (like mine) was a mistake and not, as had been implied throughout the near-month my road was ignored, a matter of priorities. It’s a lot nicer to hear that living on a near-impassable road in the main part of the city for weeks is an error, and not just a matter of my expectations being too high.

If you want the complete comparison, here’s report numer one and the new report number two.



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