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Edmonton teens turn slippery streets into skating rink, while mom demands city sands

Click to play video: 'Edmonton teens skate on slippery streets' Edmonton teens skate on slippery streets
WATCH ABOVE: Two Edmonton teens are catching the eyes of their neighbours after lacing up to skate on the icy streets – Dec 1, 2017

It might just be the most Canadian thing you’ve seen all week. A couple of Edmonton teens are making the most of a slippery situation by turning the icy streets on the city’s south side into a skating rink.

“I slid around the corner coming home and my 15-year-old said, ‘I’m slapping on skates,'” Shannon Siracky said.

So that’s exactly what he did. Siracky’s son and one of his friends were out skating on Thursday, capturing the attention of neighbours, passing motorists and even the mail carrier. Surprisingly, the ice is rather smooth, making skating pretty easy for the teens.

“The city won’t sand our roads, so let’s play hockey,” Siracky conceded.

But while it might be a lot of fun for the teens, Siracky said the icy roads are a huge concern for drivers.

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“It is brutal,” she said. “The city is not sanding the side streets at all. They should have been done probably at the beginning of last week and now it’s just a big skating rink and one day we’re all going to slide into the houses in the neighbourhood.”

READ MORE: City of Edmonton pleased with new anti-icing snow clearing

She said she called 311 on Monday in hopes of addressing the situation and was told someone would look into the issue.

“I phoned… when I almost slid into the house,” she said. “There was no follow up, there was no reference number for me that was given.

“There’s going to be so many accidents and we can prevent it. Instead now today we have two 15-year-olds skating on skates trying not to get run over by cars but trying to have a blast with the crappy situation.”

The slippery streets have been a problem in the south Edmonton neighbourhood for about two weeks, Siracky said. She wants the city to sand sooner than later.

“The city needs to start sanding these residential areas,” she insisted. “Let’s get this done.”

Recent freeze-thaw cycles have caused icy road conditions throughout the city over the past couple of weeks.

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The City of Edmonton originally said the area — the Hills at Charlesworth — is a new development that hasn’t yet been turned over by the developer, which means maintenance is “technically the responsibility of the developer.” The city said it will perform maintenance when requested.

The city clarified late Friday afternoon that some of the roads in the development do fall under its jurisdiction.

Watch below: This may be the ultimate Canadian winter story. Some roads in Edmonton are so icy, residents are skating on them. Julia Wong has more on the activity, the politics, and safety.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton road is so icy people are skating on it' Edmonton road is so icy people are skating on it
Edmonton road is so icy people are skating on it – Dec 1, 2017

The developer of the neighbourhood — Beaverbrook Communities — said it is only responsible for the “warranty of workmanship for the roadways” and once they are open to the public, the city is responsible for snow clearing.

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The developer provided Global News with a copy of the servicing agreement with the city, which read in part:

“The city will be responsible for snow clearing and seasonal sweeping of permanent roads once the roads are open to traffic, to the satisfaction of the city.”

Still, the vice president of Beaverbrook said it would send out sanding trucks Friday afternoon to address the icy streets.

“We take our residents’ safety very seriously in our communities,” Jodie Wacko wrote.

“As the City of Edmonton is not always able to immediately address snow removal and icy conditions throughout the city, we do provide enhanced maintenance very frequently in our communities. We do this on an as needed basis to facilitate access for our community’s residents and showhome visitors.”

The City of Edmonton also noted that regular sanding and anti-icing is only done on arterial and collector roads.

“Residential routes are sanded as a result of complaints, or when crews notice that traction is poor,” the city said in a statement to Global News.

The city said it responds to 311 complaints “in a timely fashion” and that road crews were sent to the Charlesworth area on Friday to improve driving conditions.

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