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Winter Walking and Cycling
(01-12-2018, 02:25 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: The Kaufman lofts was another very annoying situation, their parking lot was clear but the sidewalk on King was never plowed all winter (until now maybe, I haven't been by in a few days).

I don't know about King, but the sidewalks along Duke and Francis are clear, but that's just as likely because of the thaw as it is manual effort.
(01-12-2018, 01:55 PM)robdrimmie Wrote:
(01-11-2018, 03:22 PM)jamincan Wrote: The thing that irks me is that the landscape service almost certainly has business clients who do get their parking lots cleared as soon as snow starts to accumulate. Evidently clearing for transit, which thousands of people depend on, is a lower priority than commercial clients.

I'm biased as I'm associated with people who are very closely associated with Forestell, and have close connections to other landscaping companies who do snow removal. I have two things to add to this:

In scenarios like these, don't blame the contractor for meeting their service agreement, blame the people who set the service agreement. If the agreement with GRT was for stops to be cleared within 24 hours of 10mm of snowfall (or whatever), that's what the contractor would do and in fact I suspect most contractors would love to do that as they'd probably be able to charge more.

It was deeply frustrating to walk through the piles of snow on the sidewalks around Kaufman lofts while watching a plow truck clear out the parking lot. The sidewalk snow was eventually removed, but long after the lot was cleared.

I don't blame the contractor at all, they're just doing their job. I was more commenting on the absurdity of the situation.
When we lived at the Kaufman Lofts, our lot was cleared by a private contractor and we paid for it with our condo fees. I didn’t mind paying at all because our lot was generally always perfectly clear.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
The Kaufman board (as many condo boards) has gotten much worse. Until a recent flurry of postings of photos, they only just first plowed (and by plowed I mean still a thick layer of non-hardpack snow) right before the melt. So not a single time in the latter half of 2017, and only once in 2018. They aren't an exception or special case, just one I'm intimately familiar with.
Holy cow - that's nuts. That's a shame it's gone downhill like that, we were there from ~2007 to 2012, and I was always happy with the clearing and landscaping (Moser, IIRC). We had the 2nd furthest parking spot from the building, and the longest walk from the elevator (last unit at the end of the hall), so appreciated at least being able to easy get through the lot. Smile

We were just in Stratford this afternoon and saw small city owned ploughs out clearing all of the sidewalks - once we noticed them out, we saw that every sidewalk was perfectly clear, down to the concrete.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
There was a short segment on the CBC about half an hour ago about a mother (new to Waterloo) of an eight-year-old with mobility issues, and her travails this winter trying to get to the bus stop.

An article explains her challenges, identifying both delinquent property owners and the GRT's poor performance in getting its stops cleared.
"GRT waits until 24 hours after a snowfall event to begin clearing bus stops. "This is to allow the roads and sidewalks to initially be cleared," Hewitson said. "Over the following 48 hours the 2,700 plus bus stops are cleared.""

The first part of the statement would imply that a 6th day could lapse before clearing is "complete" based on what we know of the wording of the contract (1 day to notify contractor their services are needed, 3 days for the contractor to begin, 2 days for the contractor to finish).

The latter part of the statement does not correspond with reality in the degree of clearing and the timing of clearing.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
In the radio interview, another official from Waterloo explained that property owners have 24 hours to clear their sidewalks, but that the week after Christmas it snowed almost every day, so “service levels” were inconsistent.

The officials know that the current standards, with both sidewalks and GRT stops, don’t get them cleared. As others have noted, it’s a polite fiction to say that they will be.

What are the service standards for roads? My understanding is that they just go out and plow in order of importance, until everything’s done. Why not just allocate the resources needed to keep other infrastructure clear as well, and put it in the hierarchy as appropriate?

I don’t think anyone would have any problem with the expressway and major aterial streets being cleared before busy bus stops and sidewalks, as long as those busy bus stops and sidewalks were cleared before local streets.
I guess one option would be to have police, firefighters and police on foot. Then, rather than the "plow the roads for emergency vehicles, and then you might as well keep going because the road plow is warmed up," the sidewalks would get cleared first.

Or maybe, provide a shovel at each stop and while waiting for the bus, someone can shovel. Why let car owners (or homeowners with sidewalks) have all the fun of shoveling? Maybe take it a step further and have an "Adopt-a-bus-stop" model tied to a stricter snow clearing times. If a citizen gets to the stop after the tight clearing window but before the contracted plow operator does, the plow operator pays a penalty and the lucky citizen could get a credit on their bus pass.

The service could be called "Plowed Sourcing".

(and yes, my tongue is somewhat planted in cheek)
Well, there’s a lot to be said for having beat cops on foot, instead of zooming around in cruisers. But that might be off-topic…

I’ve thought something along the lines of your other idea.

The other week, I was climbing the stairs from King Street to the LCBO near Moore and King, and shared a laugh with a couple of homeless guys hanging out at the bottom about the care I was taking on the uncleared stairs. One wondered who was supposed to clear them.

On the way home, I thought maybe chaining a shovel up to the railing and letting people (whomever) get some exercise by clearing the stairs, or the ramp from the sidewalk to the street, whatever they want. I did have the thought that we could have shovels-chained-to-things at all kinds of high traffic places. It’s worth a try, maybe.
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