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Maybe we need to budget more for snow removal: Letter

‘I’d like to encourage local decision making regarding snow removal be open to other strategies’

Are any of the people who make the decisions about sidewalk clearing using public transport or walking on the main streets of Campbell River?

The Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of B.C. (newsletter December 2021) notes: “Dr. Samir Sinha, a leading Canadian gerontologist from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto: Falls are the leading cause of in[1]jury-related hospitalizations. 1/3 of seniors fall each year and 1/3 of these falls will result in serious injury. 80% of hospitalizations are due to fall injuries. And half the falls happen at home.”

Our land density along main corridors is on an increase and environmental messages encourage use of public transport. Coastal snowfalls are heavy with moisture, prone to packing like cement. Homeowners and professional buildings vary as to their abilities and commitments to clear their respective sidewalks.

Having observed the snow removal process for the past 34 years after moving here from the Kootenays, I’d like to encourage local decision making regarding snow removal be open to other strategies. In regular snow areas, the practice is to require citizens to park off roadways prior to large snowfalls, then snow is removed in the following order: sidewalks, then outer lane; all deposited into the center of the road. This allows sidewalks to be clear for use, gutters to be free for the frequent melt, and a barrier between oncoming traffic. Those turning left have to make necessary preparations to accomplish their destination. If snow at the center line builds up, the use of front-end loaders and dump trucks make for a fast removal.

If civic snow budget needs to be more, then get on with it.

It is time for change in this practice.

Catherine J. Smith,

Campbell River