The city of North Bay cannot control how much snow Mother Nature throws at us in the winter time but they do have the responsibility to manage the snow once it hits the ground.
Scott Franks is the City’s Manager of Roads and Traffic. His public works crews have been starting a week-long blitz to remove the nuisance snow banks that are becoming more like high snowy barriers for drivers to battle with.
“We’ve had quite a bit of snow this year and the thaw did help in January and now that we’ve had a couple significant events in February the banks are definitely starting to fill up again,” said Franks.
While snow levels change from year to year, Franks says the strategy for snow removal doesn’t change.
“Typically speaking we start downtown and work our way out, so we will do things like Main street, Oak street, McIntyre,” he said.
“From there we are going to move into main arteries such as Algonquin, Fisher, Cassells, those type of roads. Whenever snow storage areas fill up with snow then the lane width becomes reduced so safety becomes an issue for travellers and that’s why we like to target those main arteries.”
In snow storage, Franks is talking about the large snow banks on the boulevards that eat away portions on the lane ways and cause visibility problems for drivers who can’t see around them.
Franks says citizens can help by not adding to the problem by putting more snow at the end of their driveway or property.
“We like to encourage them not to pile their snow from their driveway on our boulevards and side of the roads,” he said. “Whenever our snow storage areas are occupied we at times have to prematurely remove snow so if we could ask home and building owners to pile their snow on their property that would be greatly appreciated and help with snow storage issues from that perspective.”
“We are not encouraging people to pile their snow by the road edge because that’s just adding to the issue.”
Franks also says the city will also focus on areas where there will be drainage issues come spring time as a simple means to avoid flooding.