Open letter to the City of Kamloops
Re: Unacceptable windrows left at the end of driveways
I want to start by expressing appreciation for your efforts at efficient snow removal in Kamloops and the complexity involved.
I’m sure your city staff, who do the actual snow removal, and those answering the phones taking complaints from the residents of Kamloops are taking the unfair brunt of their frustration. It’s a thankless job I’m sure.
However, given that our city has snow for almost half of the year, we have to do better – especially given the tax burden for residents and businesses in our city, and especially for those that have limited physical capabilities, to remove large windrows from the end of their driveways.
I’m hoping to get the attention of our city’s newly (re)elected officials: Mayor Hamer-Jackson and Councillors Neustaeter, Sarai, O'Reilly, Hall, Middleton, Bass, Karpuk and Bepple.
During the snow season in Kamloops, which isn’t short, the City of Kamloops is tasked with keeping streets plowed, sanded and safe for city residents to travel within the city. However, when side streets, especially cul-de-sacs are plowed, large (amounts of snow) are often left in front of residents driveways.
My own house, at the end of a cul-de-sac, and those of my immediate neighbours who happen to be seniors have had (snow banks) of close to two to three feet high and three feet wide– often formed of not only snow but ice, sand and rock. This is the second house in Kamloops we have owned in a cul-de-sac and I know our current area is not the only one to experience this issue.
Not only should residents not be expected to have the type of equipment to clear mixed snow, ice and sand, it should also not be assumed residents have the ability to do so. It is completely unacceptable for residents who are disabled, elderly, those with injuries or ill can not be left trapped in their homes (or left unable to get into their homes should they be out when the plow comes by) and left to bear the cost to have the windrow removed or rely on family or neighbours to help.
I know of more than one senior who has called the city to complain and are told to call snow angels for help. This is unacceptable, discriminatory to some and blatantly unfair to all residents of Kamloops. The city has to care about leaving its residents in this situation and that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Kamloops businesses and residents have a high tax burden and we need to be heard and worked with to come up with a solution.
We don’t expect to have (no snow at the end of driveways) but instead have (snow) we are able to drive over ie: a foot or under, so residents, specially those with limited physical capabilities are not trapped in our out of their homes.
Perhaps a standard maximum height would be one solution. I know the snowplows have limited capabilities but I think we can do better.
I know it’s a tough job but the city seems to have a “that’s the way it is” approach and this is unfair to all residents of Kamloops but particularly burdensome to those with limited physical capabilities.
To the snow plow drivers out there, thank you for all that you do. We should show our appreciation to you as much as we do our frustration.
Karen McKenzie, Kamloops