Within 24 hours of East Kildonan residents complaining about massive snow piles left behind in their back lanes by plows, a city councillor has made a move to change city policy.
Coun. Russ Wyatt introduced a motion at city hall on Wednesday to review whether or not the city should be responsible for clearing windrows (piles of snow pushed onto people’s properties by snowplows).
Currently, the City of Winnipeg’s policy states its only responsible for windrows on front drives but not for the removal of windrows in back lanes.
The motion calls for a review of the options for snow clearing, including the removal of windrows in back lanes.
“It won’t have an impact on this year, but it will allow us to look at what would be the cost and would it be practical for us to remove the snow in back lanes,” said Wyatt.
On Tuesday, residents raised concerns over nearly metre-high windrows left behind by plows. They were angry the city plowed at all – saying the roads were smooth before the plows came.
Wyatt said he has received a lot of complaints about back lane windrows, but plows do need to be deployed to back lanes to prevent bigger problems when things warm up.
“When we get a thaw in the middle of winter, you can create a real slush effect and then when it refreezes, it causes huge rutting and becomes really problematic,” said Wyatt.
Mayor Sam Katz seconded Wyatt's presentation of the motion, which will now go before the standing committee of public works.
Uncleared sidewalks near school frustrate parents
Meanwhile, some families in the Old St. Vital area were growing frustrated with snow piling up on sidewalks along Glenwood School.
The sidewalks there had not been cleared for about a month, according to residents.
"When you walk, it's super-unsafe because it's almost like the same height as, like, snowbanks," said parent Tracy Kawakami.
"If kids are playing on it then they'll fall into traffic, and sometimes traffic isn't paying attention."
Crews finally cleared the sidewalks along Blenheim Avenue late Wednesday evening, but city officials have not given a reason for the delay.
St. Vital Coun. Brian Mayes said he has received lots of complaints about snow clearing in Old St. Vital this winter.