Snow removal services cause mounds of problems for students
You can’t win when you can’t even shovel it
High ridges hardened to cement-like ice blocks created by the City of Regina snow removal graters take up street edges throughout the city. In past years, the snow removal crews cleared streets and sidewalks, allowing for safer travel and easier parking. However, it’s become evident to everyone that City of Regina snow removal has seemingly changed this year.
“I’ve had to walk two blocks farther because of these huge mounds of packed snow and ice, some as tall as four feet. I’ve seen buses become stuck with passengers on board, and difficulty with lowering the bus for disabled people. If it’s hard for me to commute every day, I am sure it’s hard for many others,” writes an anonymous University of Regina student.
Many concerned citizens have reported large mounds of packed snow and ice in their neighbourhoods, some as high as four feet. These snow ridges have built up and often migrate from the sides of the street to block large stretches of sidewalk. These pileups are raising concerns and causing an increased risk of accidents, reduced parking, and making traveling by foot hazardous. There have been reports of people’s vehicle mirrors being broken off, cars being stuck for weeks wedged in these snow piles, and difficulties even walking to get their own mail.
The City of Regina refused to issue a statement, and only brought up one aspect of the issue at hand: “To remove all the snow ridges with the current fleet, it would cost the city an additional 8-10 million dollars” reports the City of Regina regarding the icy snow mounds. In some areas, these ridges have been cleared, but many still remain in neighborhoods around Regina.
One main issue that faces many University of Regina students is the impact snow ridges have on bus routes, and walking routes to the bus. Many students rely on Regina’s public transit to commute every day and have brought up their concerns regarding the piles of snow. Buses are having difficulties boarding riders with these huge ridges in the way, and have even gotten stuck for long periods of time. Mobility aid users have reported needing extra assistance with boarding buses, and in many cases it’s almost impossible without help. Bus rides can become incredibly bumpy through residential neighborhoods as well, which can be physically jarring to many passengers. Although, the bus stops aren’t the only thing which are concerning students, as many have reported their walking commute to be just as difficult.
“These huge snow piles block the sidewalks, especially in my neighborhood. I sometimes need to walk on busy roads just to reach my bus stop, and it’s scary to do that. This issue really needs to be fixed before someone gets hurt,” reports another anonymous University of Regina student.
It is unlikely this issue will be dealt with by the City of Regina based on their comments issued to the press. However, there are still ways U of R students can lend a hand with this issue. Many people have banded together to begin clearing areas of these snow ridges where crosswalks are located, or have freed cars that were stuck in the snow piles. Many others have brought shovels to sheltered bus stops so community members can pitch in to keep bus stops clear for riders and for buses.
For now, Regina residents are left in the dark about whether or not they should expect this issue to arise again next year. Many can only wait and hope that the City of Regina will commit to addressing these concerns before the inevitable next winter season.