Fold mountains

Endless downpours, steady plowing leaves mountains of roadside snow



A woman who lost the use of her van and fell five levels on MPI’s driver safety scale after a crash she blames on the city’s failure to clear snow banks obscuring the vision says nothing has changed in the two winters since.

“The snow banks were high two years ago and they’re higher now,” Rosella McLean said Wednesday. “And they still haven’t come to remove the snow.”

McLean was referring to the frozen mountains near the Margaret Grant Pool car park exit that turn drivers into reluctant gamblers, but she could have spoken about the situation just about anywhere in the city.

Winnipeg was blanketed in twice the amount of snow that had fallen this far last year.


MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Rosella McLean had an accident two years ago due to high snow banks at the entrance to Margaret Grant Pool.”/>

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Rosella McLean had an accident two years ago due to high snow banks at the entrance to Margaret Street Grant Pool.

Near-daily downpours led to frequent snow clearing of priority traffic lanes. Crews have pushed the white stuff to the sides of the roads and it continues to accumulate.

Last year, between January 1 and February 12, MPI received 13,063 collision claims, but during the same period this year there were 21,745 claims, including 14,956 last week.

St. Norbert-Seine River County Markus Chambers, who is a councilor for the area where McLean lives and where the collision happened in 2020, said city crews are making it a priority to clear snow from entrances and exits schools and seniors’ complexes, and at intersections.

“It’s not my fault, it’s the city’s. They did not remove snow banks from the exit. I was snooping around, because there was a big snowdrift there, and this woman rammed me. You would have thought she would have seen me, but the snow was higher than my van. I went to MPI and they said it was my fault.”
—Rosella McLean

“We are prioritizing where the snow is accumulating because there is a risk for school children, the elderly and at intersections,” he said.

“This year it’s an exercise to try to track all the snow accumulation to help clear the streets, but also with snow transport…I tell people to send me a picture of the area, so so we can see what’s going on, and then a street maintainer will examine it.”




<p>MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
<p>People walk past large drifts of snow in Winnipeg on Tuesday.”/>							
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<p>MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
<p>People walk past large drifts of snow in Winnipeg on Tuesday.</p>
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<p>MPI spokesman Brian Smiley said motorists should be extra careful.			</p>
<p>“High snow banks can block a driver’s view of the road they hope to enter. In such a case, drivers are encouraged to find a safe, alternative exit route. Otherwise, a driver whose sight is obstructed should lean forward to improve sight as much as possible and proceed with extreme caution, being prepared to stop suddenly if necessary.”			</p>
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“This year it’s an exercise to try and track all the snow accumulation to help clear the streets, but also with snow transport… I tell people to send me a picture of the area , so we can see what’s going on, and then a street maintainer will examine it.
— County of Saint-Norbert-Seine River. Markus Chambers

McLean, who is still negotiating with the state corporation over damage to her vehicle, said she did, barely crawling forward because she just couldn’t see the oncoming traffic. reverse.

The retired public health nurse said she doesn’t think it’s fair that she lost part of her Autopac discount and had her safe driving record damaged.

“It’s not my fault, it’s the city’s fault,” she said Wednesday. “They didn’t remove the snow banks from the exit. I was snooping around, because there was a big snow bank there, and this woman rammed me. would have seen, but the snow was higher so I went to MPI and they said it was my fault.


MIKAELA MACKENZIE/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS On Wednesday, Rosella McLean stands behind high banks of snow near her home in Winnipeg.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS On Wednesday, Rosella McLean stands behind high banks of snow near her home in Winnipeg.

“I did everything I could do, but it still happened.”

According to Smiley, things are rather simple, in such circumstances.

“A vehicle exiting a parking lot (or) a side street should only enter the carriageway when it is clear of oncoming vehicles and safely,” he said, adding that there had been an increase in complaints and delays for motorists. try to report them.

Smiley said it was both pandemic and weather related, as well as an issue with their phones.

“On Monday it was a technical problem. From 12:20 (pm) to two o’clock there was a busy signal, but it was a problem on our side,” he said.

“We’ve also seen a significant increase in collisions. We still get higher than normal claims calls in the winter, but we haven’t seen that in the last year due to COVID and lower volumes of traffic.

Meanwhile, Chambers said city crews will clear snow in problem areas if residents notify 311 or their councillors.

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Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason
Journalist

Kevin Rollason is one of the Winnipeg Free Press’ most versatile reporters. Whether covering City Hall, the Courthouse or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws – who, what, when, where and why – but to do it. in an interesting and accessible way for readers. .