I am a relatively new citizen to Yorkton but when I heard the Mayor’s comments on the radio regarding complaints about the snow plows covering the sidewalks with snow from the roads, I felt I had to respond to his very weak explanation. If I were asked the question “Why are there sidewalks in Yorkton?” I believe my response would be to provide a safe way for children and pedestrians to walk to their destinations.
The Mayor feels that since Yorkton plows the snow off roads the best place to put it is over the sidewalks along with a previous council that passed this policy. His safety message was to ask drivers to drive safely. The majority of drivers already follow his request. I still observe a small percentage of drivers that like to fish tail around corners and no amount of pleading will convince them to stop this practice.
During our morning walks, prior to some of the sidewalks being covered by the snow plows I noticed that the vast majority of residents kept the snow clear from the sidewalks along the length of their properties. Some even cleared the sidewalk where there was an empty lot. This was done voluntarily without it being mandated like the city of Saskatoon. Bless them as it makes it much easier for seniors like myself to walk.
I feel the roads were constructed wide enough to allow the snow plows to deposit the snow piles at the edge of the curb instead of over the sidewalk. This would narrow the roads somewhat by spring. Hopefully the narrower roads would slow some of the careless drivers down. My observations show the snow plow operators are very adept at judging and manoeuvering the large machines. I believe they would have little trouble leaving the pile at the curb rather than covering the sidewalk and upon occasion lawns.
I would challenge the present council to revisit this policy and change it since the Mayor doesn’t seem willing to do so. I am hoping changes will come before a child or pedestrian is seriously injured or killed. I cannot visualize pedestrians and cars mingling to be a safe situation, particularly on icy streets. Since there is not home mail delivery in our area I feel I should have a safe place to walk to pick up my mail at the group mailbox located a little over a block away.