Terrace crews have been busy clearing snow, but some residents are finding that it is creating a new problem.
Through its plowing, the city has created snow windrows in front of some people’s driveways. Terrace resident David Hall lives on Park St. and said that the windrows formed on driveways have been an issue for himself and others.
“There’s like three-and-a-half feet of hard packed snow in front of people’s driveways now,” Hall said.
“It’s not acceptable, we have a lot of elders and handicapped people in this town and I don’t think that three feet of snow in their driveway is good, especially in this kind of winter.”
Hall said that he is thankful that he owns a snowblower, but feels bad for other residents that he has seen shovelling windrows during very cold weather, especially seniors.
Kate Lautens, communications advisor for the City of Terrace, said in an email that the Public Works Department has been very busy with snow clearing activities, and that the city has created a webpage titled ‘Snow Removal 101: The Facts on Snow Clearing in Terrace’, to address concerns from members of the public about the situation.
“We are aware of the community’s frustrations with our current road conditions. Multiple factors have caused us to fall behind in keeping up with the current conditions, including abnormal weather conditions, staff availability due to holidays, sickness, overtime limitations, and equipment limitations,” the webpage states.
On the topic of windrows, the city said that it apologizes for its snow clearing techniques, but there is not an easy way to avoid windrows with its current equipment.
Terrace has only two sidewalk machines, meaning that it is not feasible to clear all sidewalks in a timely manner, and it is not efficient to raise grader blades for each driveway or go back to clear windrows after the fact.
For people that need help clearing windrows in front of driveways, the city suggests contacting Volunteer Terrace. That organization runs a Snow Angels program to help people that are unable to clear their own driveways.
The city also offers a financial assistance program for seniors and physically challenged citizens that provides a rebate of 50 per cent of the cost to hire a snow removal service, up to $250 per winter.
Hall said that he suggested a piece of equipment to the city called a Windrow Eliminator that attaches to the back of a grader. He said the city told him that it would consider the new equipment.
“We are constantly re-evaluating our equipment and snow clearing program and will consider other options in the future that fit within the many competing interests we are faced with,” the city said on its Snow Removal 101 webpage.
“Thank you for your patience and understanding.”