The City of Edmonton seems to have decided not to clear anything but the major roads. And, frankly, if we consider the huge piles of snow left on the sides of even those roads (windrows that occasionally even block the sidewalk), we haven’t been doing a great job of the main roads either. I’ve never seen so little attention paid to clearing the roads here.
Of course it makes cycling challenging, and sometimes impossible on the roads. Don’t get on me for takig the sidewalks. The piles of snow make staying to the right impossible. Many motorists are unaware the lane belongs to the cyclist, and the cyclist is supposed to allow other vehicles to pass in the same lane at their discretion. Some motorists don’t think cyclists belong there in the first place, as if spending money on a car gave them exclusive access to taxpayer funded roads that I pay for too, far in excess of how much I use them.
In Oliver district, where I live, the roads are so bad that crossing the street ON FOOT is a struggle. I find it ironic that each year we fine people and businesses for not clearing their sidewalks, but we can’t clear the streets. Doubly ironic, is that we used to do a much better job, and paid much less. Paying much more, for much less? How did we get to this?
I understand that we may have some severe budget constraints. But when we are funding a bunch of very expensive events/facilities of questionable real impact (world’s fair bid, Indy race, etc) but won’t clear the snow from the roads (or fund the bike paths), I can’t help but feel we’ve got our priorities wrong. I think we’re losing our way. And that could prove very bad for some very capable people, come election time. I hope somebody gives this another look. Maybe our new city manager?