EDMONTON – Councillor Amarjeet Sohi thinks the city can get a quicker jump on sweeping dirt, sand and debris leftover from the winter off the streets and sidewalks.
He’s asked for more information on the process from the transportation department, and hopes to ask council for an inquiry into the issue as early as Tuesday.
“The bottom line is this: we have such a short time to enjoy the summer and the spring, and the longer it takes for us to clear the streets of dust and debris, I think the less enjoyable our city is,” said Sohi.
Sohi explained his biggest concern is the amount of time it currently takes city crews to remove the dirt from roads and sidewalks.
“The weather is getting better, people want to get out and walk and there’s a lot of dust being created because of the moving vehicles,” he added.
“Even when you’re taking public transportation – people waiting at the transit stations – I know there’s a lot of concerns that I’m hearing from the public and I think we need to do a better job.”
Once Sohi gets the information he needs from the transportation department, he plans to ask council to look at ways to speed up the street cleaning process.
“This is a service that we should be providing at a high quality and I’m not seeing that.”
Many residents agree.
“In my district, where I live, it hasn’t been done yet, so it’s just messy and dirty,” said Jason Piche.
“How are we supposed to be proud of our city if our city looks a mess?”
Shannon Scoates said the sand makes the city feel dirty.
“I think so.”
“Attack it early, and make the city shine and sparkle.”
So, why do crews wait until later in the season?
“One reason that I hear is that they wait in the anticipation of maybe there’s another snow storm,” said Sohi. “But we shouldn’t do that.”
Sohi argued that, in the spring, snow melts much faster and leaves less debris in its wake.
He believes dirty, gravelly roads should be tackled sooner rather than later.
“It also leaves the impression of our city being very dirty, and it is dirty. When you look outside, it is not as clean as it should be.”