‘I’m not very pleased’: Edmonton councillor calls out poor snow clearing

Click to play video: 'City councillor raises snow clearing questions in Edmonton' City councillor raises snow clearing questions in Edmonton
WATCH ABOVE: An Edmonton councillor says he's heard an increase in complaints this winter over the city's snow plow program. As Vinesh Pratap explains, frustration is mounting as the snow continues to pile up. – Feb 12, 2020

An Edmonton city councillor is echoing a sentiment that many people in the city seem to be feeling: snow clearing hasn’t gone smoothly this winter.

“I’m not very pleased with the way snow clearing’s gone so far this winter,” said Coun. Michael Walters.

The comments come one day after a morning snowfall in Edmonton led to icy roads, 279 collisions, and residential blading being put on hold.

The residential blading that began Feb. 10 was the first round of the season, after fluctuating weather prevented crews from doing the work.

Officials said the city completed “a number of” residential blading cycles before Christmas last winter. This year, weather conditions were different, as was the amount of snow that fell and accumulated over the same time period.

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READ MORE: Edmonton hasn’t done a residential blading cycle yet this winter. Why not?

Walters said Wednesday that he himself has been stuck in snow on the roads “a few times” this week. He said the city needs to look into why this particular winter seems to be causing so many road issues.

“I want to know why so many people are upset,” Walters said. “And I want to have a conversation sooner than later with our administration.”

The city typically reviews the prior season’s snow removal program in the spring, but Walters said he’d like to push that sooner.

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“I’m hearing from way more people this year, and I’ve had way more negative experiences personally this year with snow than I’ve had in the past.”

Between 5 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesday, 229 collisions were reported to Edmonton police, including 10 injury collisions and 198 property damage collisions.

READ MORE: City suspends residential blading as snow blankets Edmonton Tuesday

For the 2019-20 season, councillors moved to end a controversial two-year calcium chloride pilot that previously saw an anti-icing brine applied to the roads.

The city is currently relying on a combination of sand, plowing, and grading for its road-clearing program.

Click to play video: 'City of Edmonton dealing with influx of complaints about neighbourhood roads' City of Edmonton dealing with influx of complaints about neighbourhood roads
City of Edmonton dealing with influx of complaints about neighbourhood roads – Feb 4, 2020

The residential blading that was suspended this week was expected to begin again by the end of the week, the city said Tuesday.


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