Letter of the Day
Editor: This is a letter of considerable complaint to Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. I, and countless other residents of Charlottetown are incredibly disappointed and angry at the terrible job of snow removable so far this winter.
While everyone realizes this has been a most unusual December in the province, with large amounts of snow in a relatively short time, there can be no excuse for the state of the streets in this city. I walk to work and one of side streets I use is Alley Street. That tiny stretch of street has been done only once since the storm last week, 10 days ago. Driving is dangerous on that small road and I really don't know how residents get out to get to work.
Sidewalks in town are, for the most part, buried. Kent St. through downtown, hasn't been properly plowed in 10 days. No one can get even close to the curb for parking, so a trip down that stretch on Christmas Eve morning, from Pownal to Prince St., was one lane, (barely) and very dangerous. It's still like that.
One can only imagine what the state of the downtown streets has done to the businesses unlucky enough to be located there. The much needed Christmas shopping dollars, and now Boxing Day sales, will most assuredly have gone to the malls and big box stores, with plowed parking lots. Nowhere to park downtown, nowhere to drive downtown and crossing the street from one corner to the next requires hip-waders and mountain climbing boots. Some streets are done, others ignored or forgotten. University Avenue out to Charlottetown Mall is clear enough to take shoppers to Target, Sears and other stores out there, as far from downtown as they can get.
Again, I and others living here, whether we walk or drive, are not interested in excuses from the city, financial or otherwise. We want the streets and sidewalks cleared. The city has had plenty of time to get the job done properly. What is going on at night, when the streets are empty of cars, as required by the city by-laws? Downtown is certainly not being cleaned up. There have been very few of the convoys of dump trucks taking the snow away. Rather the snow is being sloppily plowed to the side and left there.
No excuses. Charlottetown residents, I'm sure are not interested in how much money you have left in budget. We don't care. We want the job done. What does interest myself and others is what has happened to the crews and the equipment? Laid off? Seasonal staff not recalled? Foolish, shortsighted mistakes, if that's so. In the space of less than three weeks, this city has become a nightmare to drive or walk through for the first time since we moved here 20 years ago, and that includes White Juan. City Hall has a lot to answer for so far this winter, and another storm is on the way early next week. Get the crews and equipment out there on the roads. City Hall should be ashamed. An apology to the citizens of Charlottetown is in order. There is a very long winter to get through and you're off to a really bad start.