Grandma & Grandpa's Farm

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Walking in a Winter Wonderland - II

...still trying to.

I still like the snow and am sad to hear that it will likely not be with us here in Metro Vancouver in a week or so at most. But... you were waiting for the "but" weren't you? ...I am getting more disgusted at how pedestrians are being treated out here every day.

Understandably for out here, we have had a lot of snow in a short time that has lasted a long time... as contradictory as that might sound. What I mean is that we had a number of snowstorms in rapid succession -- in a short time -- and that the snow has lasted longer than it often does. People out here are used to getting 6 in - 15cm of snow and the rain washing it away after a day or two. Rather we have had 60-80cm - 24-30in of snow in a week or so without any appreciable thaw and now with the raising of temperatures to freezing and a bit above, the rain is being absorbed by the snow -- much like a sponge absorbing water -- rather than the snow being washed away. That is leading to the snow just becoming heavier and more prone to collapsing roofs, capsizing houseboats, and impeding traffic. It also is blocking catch basins turning streets and highways into impromptu lakes and streams.

Still what has got my goat is that very little provision is being made for pedestrians!

(Image to right from Image*After)

I was lucky enough to have been given a ride to my Parents for Christmas by my Sister and her Husband or I probably would not have been able to get out for Christmas. The sidewalks are piled high with snow, not just from the snowfall, but also from that ploughed from the streets and people clearing their driveways. Truely there are some souls who have shovelled their sidewalks and there are some folk who have shovelled their walks, but have no sidewalks along the roadway to keep clear other than to attempt to shovel away what the highway and city have ploughed to the side of the road.

People are forced to walk in the narrowed street or through snow deeper than their knees, and very often that is the brownish grey sort of snow that is scraped up off of the streets.

Even if a person were to make it to the bus stop -- if the are taking public transit -- they are faced with that same mountain of snow to hurdle in order to climb onto the bus from the curb.

While it is true that this has happened during the holiday season with less dependence on commuting by transit to work, I can only imagine what people are doing presently to get onto the buses. I do know that anyone with a mobility impairment is likely simply stuck at home unless they have some access to a car, whether a friend or relative to drive them or cash enough for cab.

I am very disappointed that the City and Chamber of Commerce are dropping the ball on this issue... but perhaps they all have their nice SUV with snow tires to travel with...

~ Darrell


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