Some East Scarborough residents are upset over what they say is an outright neglect of their roads by snow plowing crews following large storms.
They maintain that not only are their residential streets not cleared until days later, their main roads are not sufficiently looked after either.
“There was way too much snow,” says Rachelle Tessier, a resident on Military Trail speaking after a storm on Feb. 1. “I know they plow in intervals and it may take a while before they get to re-plow, but what I saw looked like the roads in Scarborough had hardly been touched.”
Tessier believes the roads in downtown Toronto were sufficiently plowed, while Scarborough was altogether forgotten.
Teja Vellanki, a Neilson Road and Sheppard Avenue area resident, agrees.
He says that “sometimes it feels as though Scarborough is like the bastard, unforgotten child overshadowed by the glamorous successful big brother that is downtown Toronto.”
Toronto brought out 600 street plows, 300 sidewalk plows and 200 salting vehicles, but the non-stop snowfall made it difficult to keep the roads clear and safe for driving say officials.
Peter Noehammer, director of Toronto Transportation Services, said snow clearing for local roads in subdivisions had to wait. Residential streets, he said, would not have been finished until Feb. 2.
“We delayed our plowing there until the bulk of the snow came down,” Noehammer said. “The reason for that was because we didn’t want to have to go and do things once and have a lot of the snow come down only to bury the streets again.”
According to Noehammer, city trucks salted main roads, collectors and expressways starting at 4 a.m. on Feb. 1, and plows were at work steadily keeping those main roads cleared.
But on Feb. 2, after the storm had passed, several observations along sections of Morningside Avenue, Neilson Road and Military Trail showed significant amounts of snow on the roads, making it slippery and dangerous.
Myles Currie, manager of road operations, said traffic is heaviest in the downtown area, and so it was only logical that snow clearing started there first.
High winds, blowing snow and periods of freezing rain made traveling on the city’s roads a risky business. The daylong storm dumped 25 cm of snow on the ground, and caused 560 accidents.