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Moncton residents say sidewalks impassable after back-to-back snowfalls
MONCTON -- Crews are out clearing streets and sidewalks after yet another icy blast of weather, but some Moncton residents say they don't expect to be dug out any time soon.
"It's a lovely neighbourhood to live in, the community is great, but unfortunately the city's not the greatest at getting the sidewalks ... the sidewalks plowed," said Jennifer Burns of Moncton.
Burns has lived in her Moncton neighbourhood for the last 10 years. In that time, she says she's never seen a plow clear the sidewalk across from her house.
"I can't recall a time when this road has actually been plowed," Burns said. "It's not a main road, so I don't know that I've ever seen them come up this road, and I think my fellow neighbours would say the same thing."
Jeff Scott, the general foreman with Moncton's public works department, says city sidewalks are broken down into three different priority levels -- each with a target time frame to be cleared.
"Priority one, our aim is to have that done within 24 hours of the ending of a storm event," Scott said. "Priority two, within 36 hours, and priority three, the outside limit would be five days."
But with back-to-back snowfall events in the last two weeks, Scott says keeping the entire city clear has been difficult.
"If we're not able to get through the whole system, we have to stop and reset and go back to priority one, which does lead to the potential of some priority three streets not getting open for an extended period of time, just depending on how close storm events are to each other," Scott said.
But Burns says more needs to be done to make the sidewalks safer, especially since she lives in a school zone.
"A lot of older couples have moved out, and we have a lot of newer families, so we constantly see kids walking down on the road, with nowhere to walk because the sidewalks aren't done," Burns said.
A spokesperson with the city says the 2020 snow removal budget is roughly $5.2 million -- an amount the city says they are currently well under.
Scott says the last two weeks have been a trying time for both residents and city workers due to back to back snowfall events.