Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hamilton's inconsistent snow plowing

Depending on what part of the Hamilton megacity you're in -- even the part that's the "old" city -- snow clearing services can be either fantastic or just plain crappy.

I live in Ward 8, the West Mountain (a euphemism, it really should be West Escarpment). Snow plowing is fairly consistent on my street, a bare to centre bare standard as on main thoroughfares; and as I write these words several dumpster trucks have come by to pick up all the snow that has piled up the last few weeks and dumped on a couple of bends. The big pile in front of my yard is only about a third of what it was when I turned in last night.

Now go to the lower city. It's absolutely appalling. I had to park on a side street in Ward 4 (most of the industrial area and the residences south to the escarpment) and it looks like it hasn't been plowed since Christmas. Seriously. The roads down there are an obstacle course; and a danger to suspension systems even for luxury cars.

We spend a half a billion dollars on an admittedly badly needed expressway, one kept to an impeccable clearing standard even better than the provincial 400 series; and they can't spend even a hundred thousand bucks to clear side streets, in a part of town that doesn't even have driveways for most houses? Where's the sense in that?

Maybe it's the fact I live in a middle to upper class neighbourhood and that other part of town is lower class. But that's no excuse. We pay the same mill rate based on property values, we should get the same level of road maintenance regardless.

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