During Strathmore Town Council's meeting on November 29, Council discussed the possibility of increasing snow plow routes to help seniors in the Wheatland Lodge get to downtown safely.
"There are problems for lodge residents to get from the lodge to downtown due to the fact that the intersections on Waddy Lane and even first avenue are just too icy and snowy and it's tough for residents to navigate around the roads," Councillor Jason Montgomery said.
Councillor Denise Peterson also explained this has been an ongoing issue since the 1990s, as that was when responsibility for snow clearing shifted from the town to the lodge due to budget considerations. Unfortunately, this has resulted in some sidewalks remaining icy and unsafe to walk on, especially when 70-80% of residents in the lodge use walkers.
Another concern is the clearing of Highway 817, as Peterson said this often blocks walkways and crosswalks along the road. She noted the town went to great expense for those crosswalks, mainly for seniors and young children, and it's an issue that the road clearing results in blocking these. Unfortunately, there isn't a clear-cut solution for this issue though.
"It's a quandary because it is a primary route, I'm grateful that Volker Stevin does a great job keeping it clear, but another issue (blocking crosswalks) has complicated that," Peterson said.
A motion was passed for administration to bring back cost estimates on snow management at the lodge, at Highway 817, and the intersections and crosswalks in between the lodge and downtown. These will be brought back for the December 7 council meeting, where further discussion on this subject are expected.
If you feel another road should be considered for plowing, Town of Strathmore's Marketing and Communications Analyst Danielle Jensen explained residents can contact the town directly to speak about their concerns.
“If a resident has a question or a tip about an area that needs attention they can submit a Citizens Communication Form at Strathmore.ca/Question," Jensen said.
If you do submit a form, Jensen said you can expect to receive a response within 48 hours. As for how the Town prioritizes what roads to clear, after all the mapped out priority routes are cleared, they'll monitor what people are sending them and address other roads based on severity. This means areas with large drifts or ruts will most likely be dealt with first.
For any other questions or concerns regarding the Town's snow clearing plans, Jensen said residents can view the Winter Road Maintenance Policy here. You can also contact the town through the communication form above for any other questions or inquiries, even if they're not snowed plow related.
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