Downtown business owners are frustrated with the City of Kelowna and the snow removal job that’s being done.
“There is no job being done on clearing snow, there is no snow removal happening,” said Nikki Hunter, owner of the Green Vanity, a downtown Kelowna business.
“Yesterday, I was pushing my customers’ cars out of the parking stalls and to me that’s madness. A lot of our clients that have mobility issues can’t even come downtown right now. We had a client in a wheelchair, she needed a group of people to help her get down the street.”
Hunter said the poor driving and parking conditions are impacting her business.
“The reality is: if customers can’t get their cars down here they won’t come. One of the resistance to shopping downtown has been the parking. Now there is nowhere to park unless you have a vehicle that can actually handle getting in,” Hunter told Global News on Wednesday.
“Not all of us have the strength to be pushing cars out.”
Brett Teigland, owner of The Barber Chair in downtown Kelowna, said he’s concerned with the forecasted snow, as it appears the city can’t handle the snow the city already has.
He also echoes many of the Green Vanity’s owner’s concerns.
“Clients can’t come down and can’t find parking,” said Teigland.
“The city really should be taking this stuff out. We are getting 20 centimeters tomorrow, what are we going to do?”
On social media, a number of residents have been quite vocal about their concerns regarding snow on neighbourhood streets, bike lanes and accessibility issues for those living with disabilities.
The City of Kelowna declined an interview, saying officials were too busy preparing for Wednesday night’s forecasted snowfall.
However, the city did say in an email that snow removal efforts have been hampered by the consistent snowfall the region has seen.
“We are planning for a full cleanup after the last snow event happens this evening and moves through. Since the event on December the 25th there has not been a significant enough break in the weather patterns to allow for a full cleanup,” wrote Geert Bos, City of Kelowna’s public works manager.
“Normal weather patterns would have melted some of the snow or provided some cleanup opportunities, however the current systems have been far from normal.”
The City of Kelowna has put in place a parking ban on designated snow routes, streets in the Pandosy area and downtown Kelowna as they prepare for the latest major snow event.