A snow-covered residential road in north Nanaimo on Boxing Day. (News Bulletin file photo)

A snow-covered residential road in north Nanaimo on Boxing Day. (News Bulletin file photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Prioritize snow plowing

City of Nanaimo needs to budget better in order to keep roads clear, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Snow raises questions about spending priorities, Editorial, Jan. 5.

So the city website says that my cul-de-sac is a Level 3 priority for plowing. As such it may be upwards of 96 hours to get cleared. OK, fair enough.

A snow plow came Jan. 4, the first since the snow started on Christmas Eve, and did a terrible job. When I look around the north end of the city I see virtually every residential road to be in the same condition or worse.

The web page explains that there are 1,500 kilometres of roads in the City of Nanaimo. Again, fair enough. So at 30km/h it would take 50 hours to plow every street in the city as they say they are working around the clock. At only eight hours per day it would take six days with no overtime. And that is if there was only one truck.

I am sure we will hear about the pandemic, staff on holidays, etc. as an excuse. However, the comment I hear was the moving of budget monies for winter road clearing to fund other items including the construction of the bike lanes.

Why has the city not contracted out more of this most basic of responsibilities during this foul weather? Pulled in more heavy equipment from the private sector and paid for this essential service? Why am I paying ever-increasing taxes for road maintenance when each year the city pulls monies from the budget to fund another ‘bright idea?’

Oh, but they do find time to clear the bike lanes on Front Street. I am not sure how you can prioritize a bike lane as an arterial route or for essential services. In case they had not noticed there is virtually no one cycling.

Don Stedeford, Nanaimo

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