The City of Calgary has received more than 4,000 service requests to 311 regarding snow on the roads over the past seven days.
“That’s obviously a very big number,” roads department spokesperson Chris McGeachy said.
“We would like to remind people when they are calling the 311 agents, they are dealing with a lot of calls about snow but also calls about everything else so please try and be polite to them.”
McGeachy said Thursday the city was in day five of the seven-day snow-clearing plan. That means priority two routes are in good shape and the crews can move on to residential streets.
“We have seen quite a swell in 311 calls. We are prioritizing calls if they are impassable or if it’s a dangerous situation out there.”
He said city crews are working 24/7 to get the roads in good shape and he anticipates the warm weather that’s forecast over the next few days is going to help.
Kulbir Singh called 311 after he watched a delivery truck driver get stuck repeatedly on his street in Taradale.
“We helped him for about 40 minutes to get out, and from there to the end of the street, we dug him out and he was stuck again.
“We dug him out he was stuck again. He was very frustrated. He said, ‘I’m going home. I’ve had enough.'”
Singh and his neighbours have been calling 311 since Christmas Day.
He was thankful that help arrived on Thursday when city plows came through, but that created its own problem when the snow blocked driveways.
“They just put the snow on the side and we are stuck,” Singh said.
McGeachy is reminding residents that the city doesn’t actually remove snow from residential streets.
“The road is a natural snow storage site and it was designed that way. Snow removal is an extremely costly process and it’s a time-consuming process.
“With our climate, we get chinooks and we obviously use that as one of our tools to combat the snow,” McGeachy said.
Normally the city would have called a snow route parking ban after a record-breaking snowfall like the ones on Dec. 21 and 22. But McGeachy said because so many people are working from home because of COVID-19 restrictions and the snowfall happened during the holidays, the city figured people needed places to park.
“With the snowfall, we could’ve called a parking ban but logistically it just didn’t make a lot of sense.
“It’s harder to get the message out especially over those holidays between Christmas and New Year’s,” McGeachy said.
“If we see another significant snowfall that could absolutely change at any time but right now we’re not calling a parking ban.”