Letter writer questions local by-laws, street cleaning following recent snowstorm

Letter to the Editor:

The snowfall that came on March 22 was a terrific event wasn’t it? The snow ploughing that took place the next day was also a terrific event, but not without some problems as I saw it from driving around Rimbey at about 10:30 a.m. on March 23.

I needed to go to a business on the south side of 50th Ave. and when I got there, there was a snow bank as high as the hood of my car between my and the sidewalk. Since I am an 80-something year0old senior, I couldn’t jump that bank of snow. I waded through and got snow in both of my shoes.

I wondered why the Rimbey Public Works guys had ploughed that lovely snow to the edge of the gutter instead of a nice windrow down the middle of the street. If the snow ridge were in the middle of the street, all customers would have easy access to Rimbey businesses. The way it was ploughed made getting across it an adventure of sorts. I had another call to make up on 55 Ave. and as I drove up 49th Street, I noticed a number of vehicles covered with snow that the workers had to plough around. There were many of these troublesome things on the streets of Rimbey that morning. I wonder if Rimbey had a by-law about on-street parking.

I stopped in at the Town Office on my way home and inquired about it. Yes, there is a by-law prohibiting this practice, but it is not being enforced. I m sure that the snow clearing is made much more difficult because of these seldom used vehicles left parked for the winter. I was also told to call Nikirk Contracting Ltd. Because they plough snow for the Department of Highways (Highway 53), and the Town had little to say about it. So I called Nikirk’s and was told to contact the Alberta Highway Services, which I did.

Mr. Dave Nelson listened to my suggestion of a windrow of snow down 50th Ave. and said, “No. That would be very unsafe. Trucks would have too much trouble getting through town. It would be unsafe.” I asked him how they planned to get rid of the snow. He said, “When the Town could organize enough trucks to haul the snow away, it would put on a night crew and the snow would be put in a windrow in the middle of the street for easy loading and the job would be done when there was little or no traffic.

He also said, “You can go to the minister (of highways) over my department, but I will never consent to putting a windrow of snow down the middle of a highway.”

I believe that a better way could be found if the people involved would search out a better way, even if it wasn’t convenient for truckers for a short while.

Yours truly,

Hugh Bayne