LETTER – Would snow-removal drivers leave a windrow at gramma’s house?

To write or not to write.

I have put off adding my opinion to the mix, mainly because when I hear city representatives discussing the issue on TV, I continually hear them blaming the homeowners. Blaming us for complaining. We should be able to manage better. If we cleared our driveways properly we wouldn’t have a problem. Neighbours should help. Etcetera.

Also, I have written in previous years and nothing ever changes. I decided to write today (Saturday, Jan. 13) because I just watched a city truck spend at least 20 minutes in our cul de sac pushing around the one inch of snow that fell last night. Now THAT is a waste of money. And I assume that trucks were doing this all around town. One inch of snow!

Snow removal affects me personally because I am a 71-year-old female who lives alone and I am physically unable to remove windrows. I am perfectly capable of clearing all snow from my driveway, but thick piles of frozen ice and snow are beyond my capability. Therefore, I will probably be forced to sell my house in the near future.

I am able to maintain all other aspects of my house and property, but the windrows left on the street at the bottom of my driveway are out of the question. I would like to pose a question to all of the snow removal truck drivers who leave these huge frozen piles (usually in the middle of the night so they have several hours to freeze solid) at the end of driveways, would this be acceptable at your grandmother’s house? How would you feel if she was faced with this?

I used to really like winter (​I spent 13 years in the Yukon so I must like winter) but not anymore. Now when I hear the sound of the city truck I get a sick feeling in my stomach. Oh no – here comes the plow truck to make a huge mess of our cul de sac! It is a terrible feeling.

So far I have been managing (windrow removal) because I have a wonderful neighbour who does it for me. But she might not always be there or her circumstances might change.

And so there – I got it off my chest for another year.


About Mel Rothenburger (8563 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

8 Comments on LETTER – Would snow-removal drivers leave a windrow at gramma’s house?

  1. GeeWhiz Is there actually real people out there that after over 40 years of having metric inflicted upon us by UHHHHHHHHHHH,s Daddy,some of us old guys still remember him,you know, the guy Richard Nixon called an A- – – – – E . and he got that one right, are still using inches?
    The Brits are still using “stones”. A stone is 14 lbs Imperial and a pint is still a pint if it has a bit of Guiness in it.No wonder they want out of the EU.

  2. It’s great to have helpful neighbours (we have them, too), but it begs the question of why it has to be done the way it’s done. Cul de sacs (we have many in Kamloops) are a particular problem, as there is almost no space between driveways to pile snow. Some jurisdictions have a policy of pushing the windrows to the centre of the street rather than against the side of the road. Don’t know if that would work here, but maybe it should be given some thought. I know I’d rather go around a pile of snow in the middle of the cul de sac than have to shovel the mess in front of my driveway. I’m reluctant to point fingers at the operators, though. They have to follow the protocols they’ve been given, and must keep to a schedule, or we pay huge costs in overtime. The call to get the plows out must be based on forecasts, so when they clear that one inch of snow might have been in response to a forecast that didn’t pan out. I think it would be helpful if the equipment had a narrow enough turning circle to clear the cul de sac without constantly having back up and go forward again, creating hard compacted snowbanks under their wheels.

  3. Jennifer Adams // January 15, 2018 at 11:51 AM // Reply

    Until the city finds starts using better methods I hope the Snow Angel program can find a more effective way to align those who need help with snow clearing, and, volunteers in the area that are willing to adopt the walk that needs clearing. Perhaps there is an app that could be developed to help coordinate the program. We have a bunch of up and coming tech companies – maybe one them can help? Our council nust ask the hard questions of staff and demand they implement a better system. The inefficient snow removal has become an issue that affects so many and their ability to move about the city. The author of the letter above indicates that, the windrow effect, is actually compelling her to sell her home. The silver lining of course is skyrocketing housing prices in Kamloops. If one owns their home and can downsize the market is on fire. Another silver lining is that living in a condo has it’s benefits, not shoveling is one definitely one of them. Good luck, and here is to hoping that council can encourage our Kamloops City staff to implement some much needed changes in its service delivery to the people of Kamloops.

  4. Bernice Williams // January 15, 2018 at 11:32 AM // Reply

    I am a 80 year old Senior living on Valleyview Drive and feel much like Sally when it snows. I have to pay someone to chop up my windrows as live on the side of the street that gets it all. Sure does not encourage this Senior to stay in her own home.

    On the night mentioned —the snow plow raced up and down Valleyview Drive at least 4 times. –
    what a waste. Let’s face it—-it is not money, equipment , or manpower—it’s bloody well poor management!

  5. Sandi Wideman // January 15, 2018 at 10:32 AM // Reply

    We have lived in our home for 14 years now after moving from the coast. The first winter we went back to the coast to celebrate Christmas with our girls. Imagine our surprise to find a “warning” on our front door when we returned that we are responsible for clearing the sidewalk in front of our home, as well as down the side of our property (we live on a corner). So for these past 12 or so years we’ve done just that. However the last 2 years have been a struggle. My husband is 80 in 2 months, I’m not far behind. If it weren’t for our WONDERFUL neighbour across the street I doubt we could do it. As well we’ve had complete strangers from the street dig in, one time a very nice lady brought her 10 year old son with her and did it for us. She doesn’t even live in the neighbourhood anymore! Just wanted her son to see how helping people was a good thing to do (and boy did he work).
    So to these people (you know who you are) from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you…

  6. This resonates! Luckily I live close enough to a senior’s house to look after this work for her. But I always arrive wondering what sort of mess I’ll be faced with. She’s also on a culdesac and it seems that most of the snow from that big circle of pavement winds up across her driveway. A few weeks ago the pile was – literally – in excess of 10 feet wide measured from the curb (I took a photo because I couldn’t believe what I was looking at!). Deep, hard-packed. Most of the job was done with a metal sidewalk ice scraper, chipping away at the mass. There was no way a snow shovel would even put a dent in it. Had I not been available to do it, she would have been housebound until spring. Without assistance, that’s not an exaggeration.

    To add insult to injury, the street had been left unmaintained for several days while the ‘priority’ roads were looked after. By the time the plow arrived on this flat culdesac, the snow had essentially been packed down by the neighbours vehicles. It was passable. Then the plow arrived to make a bigger mess that what was there. There comes a point where they just shouldn’t bother!

    If we think we’re going to take pressure off of senior’s housing by finding ways to keep our seniors in their own homes for as long as possible – then believe me, this is NOT the way to do it!

  7. I could have written your letter Sally, ditto for me exactly. I manage my driveway just fine thanks to a machine, but nothing will tackle the berm the plow or truck leaves. I live in a neighborhood where everyone works, there is only so much people can do to help when they are busy and have their own to look after. I too get a sick feeling when I hear the snow plow and feel a bit of panic about being trapped. I think of an emergency and the problem of getting someone out over a big snow windrow. I actually worry about snow all the time and the dreaded berm sure to follow.

  8. First of all, I would want to help you Sally so next time you are faced with an unmovable pile of snow please get in touch with me. A huge thank you for taking the time to write and please send the letter via email to our city council.
    But maybe the drivers can’t help it but management and city council definitely can.
    One inch of snow, that’s all there was on Saturday morning, I can confirm that.
    Now THAT is a waste of money. Wholeheartedly agreed!

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