Public works chair Terry Bernard says it will take three to five days to get rid of all the snow that fell during the weekend blizzard.
Bernard appealed during city council’s regular public monthly meeting Monday night for the public’s patience.
“I would ask the public to be patient as we move snow out of the downtown over the next few days,’’ Bernard said during the meeting.
After the meeting, the councillor said with 30 centimetres of snow the standard practice is three to five snow-free days to get rid of it all.
Bernard said the first priority is tackling the business district first.
The mandatory overnight parking ban gives the public until 1 a.m. to get their vehicles off the street. So, crews would have begun plowing overnight Sunday with the priority of pulling the snow out of parking spaces and into the centre of the road.
That’s why some motorists found themselves stuck behind a plow and public works truck during the day on Monday. Crews spent the entire night pulling it onto the road.
“We get all that cleared so on Monday morning when merchants and people come into the downtown they have a place to park,’’ Bernard told the media after the meeting. “The second stage is removing the snow. During the day we have a snowblower going down the side of the road and a truck beside it, filling it and getting it out.’’
Bernard says crews can’t get to every street so that’s why people weren’t able to park on streets like Prince Street.
Coun. Mitchell Tweel said more attention needs to be given to clearing sidewalks in school areas. Tweel said he received an email from a concerned resident and was approach by others about the fact the sidewalks around Prince Street Elementary School weren’t cleared.
“I don’t mean to be critical because we received a lot of snow in the last couple of days . . . (but) kids are walking on the street and that’s the last thing we want to see,’’ Tweel said. “The last thing we want to see is elementary students walking on the street, trying to compete with the vehicle traffic.’’
The city has eight sidewalk snowblowers for the downtown core.
Bernard said there is talk in the public works committee about changing the residential overnight parking ban bylaw to have vehicles off streets by 10 or 11 p.m., rather than by 1 a.m.
“That would give us two to three extra hours plowing and hauling. It would make a huge difference in getting the downtown snow cleared.’’
Again, that potential change would apply to residential areas only.