Skip to main content

decrease costs by expanding habitat

[a prudent policy of closing roads that are redundant or not needed (like the example of Valley Inn Road), combined with "road diets" to narrow overbuilt existing roads (like Main and King) and shrinking parking lot footprints would save the city money while enhancing liveability, i.e. more money for recreation, more car-free natural areas.
The use of salt combined with other car-produced run off (oils, grease, anti-freeze, gasoline, brake fluid, etc.) should also be considered as an environmental cost, especially when it directly impacts water quality and habitat in and around Cootes Paradise. Efforts to improve water quality would benefit from less roads and larger wetlands, for example] - r


Hamilton plowing among province's priciest
Blame high level of service and highways

, The Hamilton Spectator, (Dec 23, 2008)

When it comes to cleaning up after Mother Nature, Hamilton spends more -- way more -- than its neighbours.

In fact, Hamilton's snow- and ice-clearing costs are among the most expensive in the province.

Blame it on the escarpment, expressways, one-way streets and your neighbour who parks his car on the street.

"It all adds to the cost," explains Scott Stewart, the city's outgoing head of public works.

Last year, Hamilton spent nearly $3,900 on winter clearing for every lane kilometre in the city. There's nearly 6,500 kilometres in total.

Burlington, by comparison, spent about $1,875 per lane kilometre and Brantford, $2,326.

Neither of those cities, however, have expressways such as Hamilton's Linc and new Red Hill Valley Parkway.

Both roads, combined with more than a dozen escarpment accesses, eat up a major portion of the city's $27.5-million winter road budget, explained Stewart.

When a storm hits, the city keeps trucks running continuously on key routes such as the Jolley Cut, mainly to ensure there's clear access to hospitals.

And while many cities only have one hospital to worry about, Hamilton has four, notes Stewart.

"That's a priority."

Residential street parking, which forces plow drivers into tight spaces, also drives up the cost.

It's less of an issue for newer communities where driveways abound.

It's also a major operation clearing some of the city's five-lane, one-way streets where it's not possible to just send out one plow at a time.

But not all of Hamilton's winter costs are out of city hall's control. Several years ago, council chose to upgrade the city's snow response to ensure residents would see cleaner roads sooner.

"There's no question our level of service is higher," said Joe Rinaldo, acting city manager.

The response depends on the severity of the weather, but when it's a mild storm residents should see a plow on their local road within eight hours.

If it's a major storm, like the one that hit Hamilton on Friday, a plow should be there within 24 hours of the final flakes.

Brantford, by contrast, gives itself 36 hours, the provincial minimum, to clean up. Mississauga allows up to 48 hours if it's a dump of more than 15 centimetres.

If Hamilton wanted to save money, it could scale back its response, but Councillor Chad Collins said that's not the message he's getting from taxpayers.

"They'd like to see a higher, not a lower, level of service," he said, recalling the litany of complaints he received when the city cut back service after amalgamation.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Taking a different direction to protect turtles in Cootes

Here's an easy thing you can do that will benefit at local risk-turtles immediately. It's as simple as taking a different route to bypass Cootes and Olympic Drive. This small choice will mean turtles and other wildlife in Cootes Paradise will have a better chance of surviving from being crushed under your vehicle tires.

Take the pledge: http://bit.ly/ProtectTurtlesCootes
Often you might not even be aware you've hit a young turtle, or a snake, for example, yet in the case of turtles, each death means this at-risk group is one death closer to extirpation. Turtles take a long time to reach maturity, and most hatchlings never make it to adulthood so you can see the dilemma.

Please take a minute to pledge your commitment to use an alternate route, and help Restore Cootes and other groups do their part to protect our reptile friends. A previous survey showed that 70% of respondents would do this for the turtles. Hopefully you will join them!

Thanks in advance for your support!


Loa…

The Social Sciences Take on Lot M!

Guest Blogger: Carly Stephens 
Since its inception, Parking to Paradise has been a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration. Many readers are familiar with the Ancaster Creek riparian buffer and restoration work along the Northwest border of the parking lot. Interested parties across many faculties and disciplines have worked together to restore this ecosystem and raise awareness about the impacts urbanization on the natural environment. Nurtured by the time, commitment and hard work donated by volunteers and students, the land has grown into a site of green infrastructure, ecosystem restoration, and sustainable development. Read about Reyna Matties' Master’s work on retrofitting storm water management systems on the lot in the December 7, 2015 post below. Now, it’s the social sciences turn to learn where green infrastructure developments - as with the case of Lot M - fits into our social world.

My research involves exploring the various roles that green space plays in our urb…

Coldspring Valley History Hike: Water Innovation Week

We're heading back out to share the history of this former floodplain/nature sanctuary, and take a look at the rehabilitated future of this contested site in McMaster's west campus. Can we really depave Paradise? It's happening!

Register on Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/waterweekwalk2017 (by donation)