That was a lot of Snow! - Town response was confusing!

Well it’s been a week since the big snowstorm last Friday and the snow is on it’s way to melting.   I have to tell you though I did enjoy it and was happy to see some winter for a change but living in an Urban area large amounts of snow will always present challenges for residents and Operations.

I would  not want to be a snow plow operator and I am sure the job is very hard.  I salute those that did their best to keep our roads clear.   Now on to my general feelings of the response.

I worked from home as I commute to Mississauga so I knew not to even try and make the trip.  My husband has a 4×4 and travels to Scarborough.  He went to work and would be travelling home at end of day.   I shovelled our driveway twice to ensure my Husband could get in the driveway.   We had multiple cars begin to get stuck on the road as the snow was piling up and there was no plow to be seen.  Beatty Road is a feeder street through the neighbourhood and it was plowed by 9pm Friday night but not the side streets at all, some had hills that were not plowed.

I follow the Town on Facebook and went to the website, the Town issued a communication saying that Main roads were completed and starting around Midnight secondary roads would begin.  To me that means plows were working through the night to clear side streets.   I don’t know if that happened but based on twitter and comments on the Town facebook page, people were not waking up to plowed roads and felt their street was invisible.

The Region plows are main Regional Roads but most of Ajax does not live on a main road.

I would like to see an actual colour coded map of the Town of Ajax snow removal plan , I want to know where my street falls in that plan.  I learned some people had their street plowed twice and there was no school on it.  Do they start at the bottom and work their way to the north?  I live in the middle of Town and my street was plowed about 3pm Saturday afternoon and some were later then that.  If we did not have the blazer I would have been stuck on my street if I tried to go anywhere.

The pedestrian walkway that people use to get home from GO station on Westney to Adams drive was not cleared on Friday either.  People saw trails plowed before they saw their street plowed.

Seniors that pay for the snow clearing service were no doubt left until Sunday as the policy is to clear the Seniors who sign up for the program once all streets are plowed,  that could cause issues for Home care visits if walks and drives are not cleared.  This program needs to be re-evaluated to ensure the clients get their paid in advance service in a timely manner.

It was a lot of snow but many people I spoke to felt that if the plows had done a first run through Friday afternoon it would have helped a great deal as the snow did stop around 1opm.  It would have still needed to be plowed again but people probably would have made it into their driveways.

Oh and who plows the Highway off and on ramps?  that was an entire different experience!

Next election ask your candidate about the Snow removal plan. Let’s get a map!

10 Responses to “That was a lot of Snow! - Town response was confusing!”

  1. Michael Baker Says:

    Our street (which is not a through street) in north Ajax was plowed about 4:45 pm on Friday February 8, 2013. I was very surprised at how soon our area was plowed. The wonders & mysteries to living in Ajax.
    The trails are not only plowed quickly but are salted to death regularly so much so that we dog walkers the main people to use them all winter do not because the salt is a problem for our dogs.
    Next election … does Ajax have elections? I thought members of Ajax Town Council had lifetime memberships & are not required to answer questions unless the questions have answers that make them look all-knowing & all-helpful.

  2. Allen Says:

    Seriously? How many times have the snow plows been around in the past couple of years? I think this is an unreasonable request and money should be spent elsewhere in the budget. Sorry.

    also, I am sure they worked overnight as the plow went by our place at 4:30 or 5am.

    Admin: I wish I lived on your street! I still want a map to see where my street is in the overall snow removal schedule. I really feel for those that were snowed in until late Saturday afternoon. Who does our snow clearing? Is it Town of Ajax staff? Perhaps for a larger snow event we need to bring in external resources to assist in a faster cleanup, when the need arises. Thanks for the plow update as your time is only one I am aware of that shows that plows were out all night.

  3. Steve Boyd Says:

    I think given the magnitude of the storm, response was excellent (Roassland/Westney Area). The town issues reports about their winter operations usually the morning of a storm. My opinion is that overall they do a pretty good job.

    Sure it was the next day for plowing but as I say, it was voluminous , and from our perspective, pretty well handled.

    Admin: Thanks for the update. I guess people’s feeling is based on where their house falls on the schedule. I realise we can’t plow everyone’s street at the same time but do we have enough plows?

  4. Steve Boyd Says:

    Yes, I think we do based on average circumstances. I don’t think that we can afford to bank equipment for a storm that seems to happen once each 5 years which is how long I believe it has been since we had that degree of accumulation.

    admin: I sent some questions to the town but I am leaning to the thought that for major events we should consider bringing in external companies to assist, 16 hours after the end of a snow event to have your street filled with snow plowed is a long time.

  5. Steve Boyd Says:

    It is a long time, but still within the Town’s Snow removal policy for seconadary roads. I’m all for getting it done faster, but I question whether we can get much better without breaking the bank. I tend to believe that it is what it is and I believe that they had all available resounces on the job. Externals will certainly roast us financially and thats IF they can be retained. Their private customer base would have them hopping during a time like that. Five years from now when we get another snow fall that heavy, we’ll lrevisit this, I’m sure. :)

    Admin: 5 years? Have you looked out the window? We may be revisiting tomorrow and if it stops snowing by late Wed people are going to have to get off their streets Thursday morning for work. It’s less impact if storms occur on weekend. You may very well be right and using a mix of outside companies when needed could very well be cost prohibited but no harm in investigating. It was garbage day today for me and it had me wondering about garbage trucks with the ability to attach
    snowplow blades.

  6. Michael Baker Says:

    Oh happy day!
    The plough came by about 1:30 pm today February 27, 2013.
    How is that for very good service!

    admin: Mine as well, we got lucky today that snow was not as much as before, cross fingers it doesn’t start back up again. I have not had a response yet from Operations Manager yet on my questions about Snow clearing plans. The City of Mississauga has a FAQ about Snow removal. Ajax should have something as well. I note you are spelling it the old fashioned way.

  7. Steve Boyd Says:

    You didn’t get lucky, there was way way less snow than the big fall we had during the previous strom. Parts of Durham Region received 40 cm in one fall, and yes, it’s been 5 years since that kind of timeline accumulation occured. As you can see, today’s response was much better. There simply was MUCH less snow.

  8. Steve Boyd Says:

    P.S. Snow plow on a garbage truck. Good one. :) No doable but good one just the same.

  9. Michael Baker Says:

    Go figure … the plough came down our street midday Thursday! … truly not necessary… this was a waste of time & money!

    Admin:I have info from operations to post tomorrow

  10. admin Says:

    Last winter I saw a plow come down Cedar street and there was not a spec of snow but I think it has something to do with curbs and catch basins. Maybe it is due to temp dropping and prevention of ice? No idea, I’m grasping at straws I know. See, if operations had a FAQ like Mississauga on Snow removal, we would have all the answers to snow mysteries!

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