Daniel let off some steam earlier with his Snowmageddon post. It seems everyone I talk to the past couple of days only has one thing on their mind, snow and ice and streets. I can't imagine it must be very much fun the past week running operations for snow removal and keeping streets and transit lines functioning. My guess is that we're into record levels of overtime for some crews unless it hasn't been authorized.
I have a lot of respect for these guys who salt and clear our roads, but I must say tonight was as close to a skating rink I've every seen across the city. Kingsway shined with ice and my car just about went into a full spin at 40 kmh changing lanes. I didn't see a grain of salt on the roads anywhere on the East side and it was sorely needed. Have we run out of the stuff?
I don't want to sound like an alarmist, but where exactly are our city's elected reps during Snowmageddon? I've not heard or read one report from the Mayor or a Council rep since before Christmas eve on the weather conditions. Some streets like Fraser have entire lanes devoted to vehicles abandoned in snow heaps. Granted many of us are not back at work yet from the Christmas break, but Monday is coming up fast and the weather forecast is for more snow, rain and sub-zero temperatures not condusive to melting. It might be nice if Gregor or the deputy mayor gave Vancouverites some assurance that there is a plan for dealing with treacherous roads, and that suitable city resources and funding are being devoted to this problem.
Another service that has suffered a blow is garbage and recycled materials collection. Mine hasn't been picked up since mid-December and is unlikely to be picked up for another week or two. At least a notice from City Hall that people can use their garden waste containers (as they did during 2007's strike) might tide us over. Where is the leadership from 12th and Cambie on this matter?
Like Daniel, I think the obvious question is whether Vancouver is truly ready for welcoming the world for a winter games when we're so hobbled by a cold snap?
Here are a few shots from Vancouver's Snowmageddon.