Slip-sliding on Edmonton roads: what you need to know

Tuesday has been another slippery, snowy day on Edmonton roads. But at least it's been an improvement over Monday. Edmonton police were called to 44 collisions between 9 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m. Tuesday.

It's been a tough couple of days on city roads and streets

Roads have been slippery in Edmonton this week, with nearly 150 collisions between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. (CBC)

Tuesday has been another slippery, snowy day on Edmonton roads.

But at least it's been an improvement over Monday.

Edmonton police were called to 44 collisions between 9 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m. Tuesday.

That's compared to the 97 collisions that were reported between 3:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Monday — 15 hit-and-runs, 77 property damage collisions and five more that resulted in injury, including a truck that jackknifed on the southwest leg of Anthony Henday Drive.

Police spokesperson Patrycia Thenu said if you get into a collision, it's best to move your vehicle out of the way if you can.

"Make sure you're allowing other traffic to flow by," Thenu said. "But most important is your own safety."
It`s been a bad couple of days for vehicle collisions in Edmonton. (CBC)

All collisions need to be reported to police, she added.

If the damage is under $2,000, that report can be made online. Anything involving an injury or damage over $2,000 requires the driver to either call police or go to a police station with the vehicle.

Two-hour wait for a tow truck

If you need to call a tow truck for a tow or a boost, you'll be waiting about two hours, the Alberta Motor Association says.

"We're still asking people, of course, to plug in their vehicles overnight here because we are expecting some cooler temperatures that can affect starting in the morning," said Randy Loyk, the AMA's manager of technical services.

If you do go outside to start your car and let it run for a while before leaving, remember to keep a set of keys with you.

"We're still seeing a lot of lockouts from people starting their vehicles, going inside and locking their keys in the car," he said.

Watch out for plows and sanders

City crews have been out since the snow started falling Monday.

"We have 124 pieces of equipment on the road plowing and sanding as needed," said John Potter, superintendent of operations for roadway maintenance with the city.

"We've had about six centimetres of snow coming in steady little bits but we're keeping up right now."

The goal for the city, he said, is to get down to bare pavement.
The city wants to get the roads down to bare pavement. (CBC)

Motorists can help by giving the city equipment a wide berth.

"Give us room to work," Potter said. "All our operators appreciate when people slow down, not be impatient. It's our intent to keep the roads as safe as possible."

There are no plans for a parking ban at this time, he added.

Shivering at the bus stop

Edmonton Transit said some city buses will be delayed Tuesday because of weather and traffic conditions.

"Buses are subject to the same road conditions that everyone else is," said Jennifer Laraway, communications spokesperson for EdmontonTransit.

"So whether that's your normal rush-hour congestion or getting caught up in a backlog due to an accident, which we've had no shortage of in the last couple of days, buses are obviously part of that."
Some ETS buses could be late because of weather and collisions. (CBC)

Laraway said all ETS buses are now equipped with technology that allows riders to know exactly where the bus is in real time.

She recommends downloading an app such as Transit or using the information on takeets.com

"What that means for the customer is no more venturing out to your bus stop and hoping that your bus is coming in the next 10 to 15 minutes as scheduled," she said.

"It's seeing if it's early, if it's on time, or if it's late. Then you can adjust accordingly."

Laraway said express buses on ETS could also be running a little late because they will be stopping at all bus stops during the cold weather, not just the express stops.

Relief in forecast

There is relief on the horizon for Edmontonians already be weary of winter.

Environment Canada is calling for much warmer and brighter weather heading into the weekend, with an expected high of 1 C on Saturday and all the way up to 5 C under sunny skies on Sunday.

The latest report from Alberta Transportation showed many Edmonton roads were still covered in snow and ice Tuesday afternoon.

About the Author

Nola Keeler is an award-winning journalist who has worked with CBC in Whitehorse, Yukon and Edmonton since 2000. She has worked as a host, reporter, news reader and producer for CBC. Send story ideas to nola.keeler@cbc.ca.