Driving the Winnipeg city streets this winter has enabled me to recall memories as a kid of taking the passenger train to the east coast. I had fun as the train traveled through switching yards, rocking and bouncing me in my seat. The passenger car was jostled and bumped, lurching across the switching tracks on to its destination.
That same kind of rocking and bouncing is what I experienced at the corner of Meadowood Drive turning north onto Dakato Street. It was more of a lurch turning left off Bishop Grandin Boulevard onto Lakewood Boulevard. It seems the snow cast mold was establishing an unsolicited path for my car.
The Bishop Grandin experience also offered the emotion of fear felt by someone on a roller coaster ride. The car crosses the median giving the impression it is heading into the west bound traffic lane. As it leaves the rut, the faded action of turning the car steering wheel takes effect, altering the vehicle’s course in a right angle direction, swinging the back end of the car around propelling the front end north, in the desired direction.
Our southern city snow clearing woes are small compared to the residents who live on Overdale Street. Their rutted road ride includes sound effects from spinning vehicles and crashing cars.
Chair of the city’s’ finance committee, Transcona Councillor Russ Wyatt, prefers to wait on plowing residential streets. It helps balance the city books since the budget year is ending in December and a new budget starts in January.
In the city’s 2014 budget discussion, a property tax hike is proposed. Mayor Sam Katz has defended the increase, saying taxpayers want better roads and will pay more to have them. What are we paying for now?
Didn’t you get the City of Winnipeg notice that it is an unreasonable residential expectation to have streets cleared of snow, and to have them sanded to reduce sliding. Any incident that results from the city’s failure, rests solely with the taxpayer because they didn’t take the necessary steps when reasonable expectations are not met.
If you call Manitoba Public Insurance you can expect to be found at fault for a collision, even though the street conditions were poor. The city finance chairman will tell you the city is not to blame for crashes on slippery roads. Instead, drivers should just slow down.
If you are in a situation where you lose control of your vehicle because it has entered the remains or impressions of recent vehicle tire tracks preserved in frozen form, it is you who are at fault, not MPI and surely not the city.
The consolation you can take away if accident befalls you is small in comfort, but has a wealth of understanding. You’re just in a rut.