Tuesday, November 26, 2013



How's the weather your way?  We had a dump of snow Friday through Saturday:  30-45 cm (12-18")!

On the Saturday morning I made the good decision to not take my bicycle out when I went to the St. Peter's Christmas Bazaar, so I didn't have to push it home through the increasing mush. 

It was beautiful.  The crabapples hanging on the tree had oversize, white elf caps.  So did the golden apples left hanging on the one apple tree.  Two makeshift tents over the last rows of Chinese cabbage sagged under the weight of snow.  I still haven't plowed my way to the garden to see if there's anything left of the cabbages.  I should have brought them in and steamed them for the freezer.  My error.

Overnight the busy area where we live was quiet.  That's the most amazing part of heavy snow.  That the noise of a four lane major traffic "artery" can be clamped off.  We actually woke in the middle of the night thinking there was something wrong. It was just the lack of sound.

On Monday morning, life got busy again, of course.

And I was reminded of some of the hazards of snowcover for pedestrians.

Road slush thrown up by cars is a given ... it's almost a game to yell and swear after a driver who boots it around the busy corner nearest us. 

The real estate office near us doesn't get its parking lot snow clearing guy to also clear the sidewalks around its building.  The two sidewalks are on major city streets, accessways from two major bus routes.  The real estate agency wants us to see it as family and people friendly ... I see it as absolutely unconcerned with the people who pass its building to get to a nearby medical building. (the owner of the medical building isn't that great on sidewalk clearing either).  Both businesses probably have most of their clients drive in.

The real hazard, two blocks away, is the bridge over the river.  With every snow dump we have the giant road plows shove piles of snow onto the sidewalks along the bridge.  This snow dump, the piles were less than 30 cm from the top rail.  The snow is lumpy and uneven, a foot can go through suddenly so the daring crosser is up to a thigh.  And a slip could easily crash a person into 60 km/hour traffic or plunge one into black, freezing, fast moving water 20 metres down.

I turned back from the bridge, struggled back along the two blocks of road snow piled on the sidewalks and took a bus from my corner about 6 blocks to the grocery store. 

But there were a lot of footprints along the high bridge snow.  People without fear of heights and water, or people braver than I, or people with no money to buy bus tickets had crossed the bridge. 

And these days, with another bridge closed, this bridge is the nearest alternate river crossing. 

Year after year the City knows that snow clearing crews gets busy when there is a big snowfall.  Year after year, the sidewalks of this bridge are not cleared simultaneously to the road being cleared.  The problem shouldn't be a surprise.

I think that the City just doesn't care about pedestrians or bicyclists.  This same Oxford Street was completely rebuilt 4 years ago with no bike lanes.

Beautiful snow to road hazard.


Best regards to all,

Why's Woman


No comments: