Snow removal for dummies

Snow removal for dummies I am writing this letter hoping the general public can be enlightened to our current snow situation. There have been numerous complaints directed towards Whitehorse's snow removal crew lately. I can speak from both sides of the

I am writing this letter hoping the general public can be enlightened to our current snow situation. There have been numerous complaints directed towards Whitehorse’s snow removal crew lately.

I can speak from both sides of the spectrum because my husband works for public works. I have to deal with the removal of snow just as everyone else does. I know the trials and tribulations he faces every year when

the snow starts to fly.

Wake up, people! This is the Yukon! If you don’t like snow you better move to a warmer climate. This is something we have had to deal with for many, many years and it baffles me how many people are surprised by the white stuff on the ground every year.

Instead of people having an understanding of the situation, they continue to complain. Why not find a solution to your problem? Have arrangements ahead of time to hire someone to shovel your snow, get rid of your smart car and swap for a fuel-efficient 4WD or kick your teenager’s butt out the door to do some work.

Otherwise, it is great exercise. Most people slow down in the winter anyway.

I can assure you, as my husband has been working for public works for eight years now, that when the snow flies it is chaos at the city as everyone knows it is No. 1 priority to get the snow off the roads.

Most of these guys/girls are working 10- to 12-hour shifts only to have local traffic honking, giving them the finger, swerving around them and complaining all day.

It’s very nerve-racking for these heavy-equipment operators to be constantly watching traffic as they know all it takes is one misjudgement by a driver to cause an accident. These smaller vehicles are putting everyone else’s life in danger, especially their own as you would only be a speed bump to a sander or a grader. It takes so much longer for a heavy piece of equipment to stop, and yet the snow-removal equipment is constantly being cut off by aggressive, inpatient drivers. I think everyone needs to adjust their attitudes.

When you see snow, realize the city is in panic mode to clear the roads, with certain priority streets being first in line.

You will just have to be patient as there are hundreds of roads and only so many pieces of equipment.

When you see a sander, grader, bobcat or loader on the road, give them room. These people are trying to help you, and people are in turn being impatient and rude. That is really disgusting. You want your roads cleared, but you don’t.

With the ongoing complaints about windrows in your driveway, think about it – what are they supposed to do with it? Stop at every driveway to clear it for you? Everyone is complaining to have their streets cleared, but also complain when they have a windrow of snow in their driveway. Do you know how long it would take to reach everyone if they had to stop and take your snow out of the driveway?

If they didn’t do the snow removal on your streets every so often, all of your lots would be swamped in the spring. If there was an efficient way to deal with the problem, it would have been set in motion a long time ago. So instead of sitting in front of the TV ready to dial your local complaint department, how about a change in attitude and realize you live in the Yukon, and it takes a bit of work once in awhile.

People seem to forget so easily about how lucky we are to live up here.

I know what my husband and the other city workers go through every year, and it’s unfortunate the people they are trying to help are the ones that are extremely ungrateful for what they are doing. Many of these men and women have families at home and they work very long overtime hours just to make sure your roads are safe, for you to get home to your family.

Please have a bit of patience and realize all the snow cannot disappear in one day. It’s not too much to ask.

Rita Smith

Whitehorse