Back-lane windrows frustrate some Winnipeggers
Published Friday, March 14, 2014 10:52AM CST
Last Updated Friday, March 14, 2014 6:28PM CST
Homeowners in some Winnipeg neighbourhoods are upset over massive back-lane windrows created by snow plows.
One frustrated River Heights homeowner showered a city inspector with his snow blower, along with a CTV camera crew. He was clearing out a windrow left behind by city plows in his back lane.
Residents say they're as high as 1.5 metres on some sections behind Ash Street.
"We keep this nice and clean all winter, now we come home to like a five-foot-high windrow, and you know, I don't understand how,” said Bernie Hornstein. “All they had to do was skim along to get rid of the ruts, so you can drive not in ruts, but they had to go right down to the cement and create this problem."
Others in East Kildonan also raised concerns.
Ilona McEachern says her back lane looks worse now than it did before being plowed Thursday. "It just left all kinds of ruts and bumps and frozen holes and everything," she said.
She says driving down her back lane feels like driving over a curb. Ridges and dips in the back lane left ruts nearly 20 centimetres deep.
"So you're just going kinda up and down, and with the weather freezing again, as it’s been doing all winter, people are going to end up bottoming out or wrecking their bumpers or undercarriages quite easily," she said.
Something MPI says counts as an at-fault accident for drivers. "Ultimately, the onus is on the driver to drive accordingly to road or weather conditions, meaning slow down to a crawl if you have to," said MPI spokesperson Brian Smiley.
According to the city's policy, homeowners are responsible to remove any mess created by the plows.
An inspector who spoke to CTV said plows were told to go as close to the ground as possible to help avoid flooding.
McEachern says it took them hours to clear their windrow. They cleared a spot for their car, but just getting in there is difficult.
"They really didn't push it off, like it could have been pushed off against the side of the road a lot more and it hasn't been," she said.
McEachern says she emailed the city to complain but has yet to hear back.
City councillor John Orlikow says residents have done a good job of helping each other out this winter, and the city could show its appreciation by removing back lane windrows, then eventually amending policy to notify residents of when back lanes will be cleared.
- With a report by Cheryl Holmes