The official motto is Saskatoon Shines. In the spring, however, that sheen is often dulled by a layer of dust that billows up from dirty city streets.
"I would sooner live beside a well-kept gravel road than beside the main streets in the city. It ought not to be that way, shouldn't be that way,” said University of Saskatchewan professor Alan Manson.
Manson is a professor emeritus in the Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies. Manson started giving serious thought to the way the city deals with snow in the winter, after choking on clouds of dust while sweeping up in his garage one day. Manson suspects the city's winter salt and sand mix for the roads contains too much silt, and dirt."I would sooner live beside a well-kept gravel road than beside the main streets in the city. It ought not to be that way, shouldn't be that way,” said University of Saskatchewan professor Alan Manson.
"We are putting an incredible amount of dust/dirt, as well as legitimate sand on the roads and I'd like to know why? It's certainly doing no good to our lungs, or our cars, or our houses, or the streets."
Professor to share ideas with City Hall
Manson has written a letter to Saskatoon city hall that reads like a scientific paper. He suggests that climate change has made Saskatoon winters longer and colder, and that sanding the roads is no longer the best approach. He’d like the city to put the emphasis on snow removal, and to change the composition of its sand and salt mix. He believes some simple changes would make the streets safer and much cleaner in the spring.
Officials have invited to the professor to a meeting to talk about some of his ideas.