Bare pavement snow removal policy rejected
A council transportation committee agreed with city administrators on Wednesday not to dramatically change the city's snow-removal priorities.
Heavy snowfalls and extended cold snaps left many suburban roads in Calgary in very rough shape last winter. Many residential roads were impassable or had deep ruts that drivers found difficult to navigate.
The city fielded so many complaints, it asked residents to stop calling 311, the city information line, about snow on residential roads.
This coming winter, the city's snow-clearing efforts will remain focused on major roads and bus routes, the committee decided. But there will be more attention on keeping LRT stations, bus stops and bike lanes clear of snow.
City hall would have to raise taxes to be able to clear snow from all the roads in Calgary and most people don't want that, said Ald. Bob Hawkesworth.
"There's no appetite for the costs that would be involved for a bare-pavement policy in the city, something like $100 million compared to the 20-some million that we're spending now," he said.
"I just don't see that citizens would want it, nor is it necessary."
A survey of residents found that 82 per cent of Calgarians are happy with the current snow-clearing policy, he said.
The city had set aside $22 million for snow clearing in 2009. So far, $27 million has already been spent and the city will have to tap into a contingency fund.