Friday, November 27, 2009

Ah yes First Snow in Calgary

Actually it was the second significant snow fall of the winter and the City says it was ready. I am posting at 9:55pm and my wife still has not made it home from work because of road conditions. A visit to the city's website, which features and snow and ice control page says that the city was launching into proactive responses but there is little indication that much was done or is being done with the weather conditions.

I'm sure this page will be altered or updated so here is a pdf of the site I printed at post time.

I am astonished on the eve of my 7th winter in Calgary that this same fiasco has to be revisited. Somebody with the city has to come up with an explanation why the city cannot even do what paltry snow removal they offer in a timely manner. If the answer is that the city cannot afford it, or doesn't want to overtax the citizens for it, then again it has to look at its priorities and the sustainability of its planning.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sidewalks and Jaywalking

Today's post is not going to be one of my better efforts, more of a rant really, but I'm hoping to get myself back into the routine with the blog.

Recently, I started work in the Marlborough area, a block west of the LRT station and the behemoth divided thoroughfare that straddles the trainline. There is an array of strip malls, bigbox stores and car dealerships and a few light industrial enterprises. All indications are that it is a car-oriented neighbourhood, despite the fact that there is an LRT.

I walk in this area and it is a bit of a struggle to find sidewalks in the area. The only one runs on the south side of 9th Ave NE for one block. That gets me past the car dealership but there is still a bit of distance to cover to get to the office. If I am going to get to work it is necessary to walk on an area that has no sidewalk nor is mandated to be cleared when it snows. I could try to negotiate my way on the road itself but that would be even more dangerous than walking on the icy slopes. The best option is to jaywalk and find parking lots to cut through for a less treacherous walk. Taking my life into my own hands I judge the traffic, look both ways and make my way across to parking lots.

On one of these occasions I happened to cross the path of a patrol car driven by one of Calgary's finest. She stopped and honked for my attention and instructed me to cross at the crosswalk at the intersection. It was true that I broke the law by not crossing in the between the white lines, but it was in an environment where the lack of sidewalks makes jaywalking the safest option available.

Hmm, yeah, I'm ranting a bit. Hopefully I'll get back into the routine with something more constructive.