A Red Deer resident says snow clearing on Friday afternoon left people trapped in his neighbourhood.
Allwright Close resident Glenn Mackie said graders came down his street sometime after lunch leaving huge piles of snow in front of driveways. It took about five hours before a skid steer arrived, but by that time, residents had already cleared the snow.
“The guy next door is a senior. He goes to leave. He can’t get out of his driveway. Good thing I have a snowblower,” said Mackie who recalled having the same problem last winter.
He said when he called the city to request a skid steer he was told it would take a few hours. The Anders resident suggested graders have attachments to clear driveways right away instead of relying on skid steers.
“You’re spending more on a Bobcat cleaning up people’s driveways. Have a little bit of respect considering we’re paying to have it done. It’s part of our taxes.”
Mackie said local residents are also lucky if they get their streets plowed once a year.
Doug Halldorson, the city’s road superintendent, said snow clearing is triggered when there is a 10-cm snow pack. This year there wasn’t a lot of snow, and a lot melted, so clearing wasn’t triggered until recently.
He said Friday was a particularly bad day weather-wise and equipment malfunctions added to delays.
“We had eight inches of snow Friday so we had a lot on our plate. But we did get all the driveways open,” Halldorson said.
He said equipment has been fixed and snow removal from driveways is now a lot quicker. If someone has an appointment, they can still call the city and a skid steer in the area will be sent over.
Snow clearing in the city started Feb. 27 on green routes (bus routes) and work should be finished March 19. Grey routes will be completed March 22.
Halldorson encouraged more people to sign up for snow clearing alerts available through email, text or a phone call so they know when to remove their vehicles from the street.
“The ones who have subscribed to it, it’s helped a lot.”
Unfortunately there are still a lot of residents who don’t move their vehicles, he added.
“Work with us to get your vehicles off the street so we can clear them more efficiently. That’s our biggest problem. We don’t want to hand out the tickets.”
“Give us room to work and we’ll be out of there as quickly as possible,” Halldorson said.
To sign up for alerts visit www.reddeer.ca/whats-happening/notify-red-deer.