The debate continues – should the city of Saskatoon regularly clear and remove snow from all residential streets?

The snowfall around the city led to some waist-high snowdrifts along the road and deep tracks with snow on the streets. People wonder why the city does not clean them?

The answer boils down to the plan that the Saskatoon city council’s decision is currently in place: Residential streets are only cleared when the city sees a snowstorm pouring more than 30 inches of snow or more. This is an amount similar to the November 2020 snowstorm, which brought total far over that notch.

Click to play video: 'City preaches patience because clearing massive snowdrifts is expected to take weeks'

City preaches patience as clearing massive snowdrifts is expected to take weeks

City preaches patience as clearing massive snowdrifts is expected to take weeks

So far this winter, the largest snowfall total was about 12 inches, according to Environment Canada.

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Saskatoon Ward 1 Coun. Darren Hill said the city can do a better job of clearing residential streets and that he understands why some people complain.

“We need to be better in the residential streets in many areas,” Hill said.

“In my area I would say that some of the streets are impassable for smaller cars, also in the northern industrial areas. The tracks are getting bad. ”

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City residents say in many areas of the city, snowdrifts are waist high on the side of the streets or right in the middle. Global News spoke to several residents, who provided their views on snow removal and how the winter of 2022 has been so far.

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“The less traveled parts of the town in the residential areas certainly have a lot of snow,” said one resident.

“Sometimes we had to wait a little longer than we would like for snow clearing,” another resident added. “The snow is piling up near the back door and a few times this year we could not open the back door in my senior apartment complex.”

Another told Global News: “If the city does not clear streets, then it’s just big walls of snow and then it melts in the spring and makes the streets disgusting.”

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The problem is that snow removal is expensive. Last year’s snowstorm cost between $ 11 million and $ 14 million. Councilors say they are open to further discussions on doing more and they point out that the city has improved snow cleaning over the past year, including better snow removal for trails.

“We did add money to the budget to clean roads,” said Ward 9 Count. Bev Dubois. She cited Meewasin Trail, the sidewalks and bridges’ sidewalks as examples of sidewalks that have been cleared.

After snowfall, residents were supposed to clean their sidewalks of snow and ice as best they could, according to a Saskatoon ordinance. However, Hill says the city could do a better job of clearing some crossroads and city crossings.

“If we do not clean these sidewalks in those residential streets, we are not doing our job,” Hill said. “There are a number of those crossroads that I currently find unacceptable.”

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Dubois said people can call the 24/7 hotline if their streets or tracks get really bad. Public works will swing by to watch.

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Priority one, two and three streets, such as Circle Drive and Idywyld, are the primary focus for each snowstorm.

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The customer care center number is 206-975-2476, and it works 24/7, Dubois said. “Residents can always call that number and see if they can get something done for you.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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