LTE: Deal with problem snowbanks

The following is an open letter to city councillors and the City of Cornwall, copied to local media:

Good morning,

Yesterday evening, as I was making my way home from work, I followed my usual route that brings me down Fifth Street West to Cumberland, to make a left hand turn heading south on Cumberland. Once again, I was involved in a game of ‘traffic roulette’ caused by excessively high snow banks as you are looking southward from the corner. I have included photos taken of the corner for your review.

A photograph from Brent Harpur of sight lines at Fifth Street looking south to Cumberland Street. (Photo/Brent Harpur)
A photograph from Brent Harpur of sight lines at Fifth Street looking south to Cumberland Street. (Photo/Brent Harpur)

Last week, on the 11th, there was a news article in the Standard Freeholder reporting on a two car collision at that intersection that sent three to hospital.

While there were little details available regarding the accident, I can’t help but wonder whether the reduced sight lines up Cumberland at this corner wasn’t a contribution. (Coincidentally, the same day, I sent a notice through the PingStreet app for Cornwall advising of the size of the snowbanks, and the danger that it could cause. I did get a response the same day thanking me for taking the time and that the information had been forwarded to the applicable department.)

To add to this situation, with Brookdale Avenue closed for the next few months, additional traffic is now detouring up and down Cumberland. This is creating greater traffic flow, increasing the odds for a more serious accident.

I have noticed that the snowbanks closer to the centre of town have, in some cases, been either reduced considerably, or completely removed. Augustus Street, from Fourth to Second, Third Street between Pitt and Augustus, and Trinity Avenue. I mention only these streets because that is part of the route that I take when I am walking my dogs – I can’t speak for anywhere else in Cornwall, just the places that directly impact me.

If it was a case of it having been a major snowfall that had just occurred, I can see that there would be a reason for the delay in dealing with these serious situations. However, this has been the case for over a month, and was the same situation last year. I am sure that this corner is not the only one in Cornwall that has this issue. I can understand the need for cost saving and fiscal responsibility on behalf of the city, but not to the point where residents are put into danger. The snowbanks need to be cleared before there is another accident, possibly more serious than the last one.

As a suggestion – could whoever is responsible for the snow removal not identify those problem areas and deal with them on a case by case basis instead of total removal of ALL snowbanks in order to resolve the problem and save on the expense of city wide removal?

Thank you
Brent Harpur

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