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Elderly Man With Cane Ends Up In The Ditch While Driving After Road Not Plowed Following Snow Storm

KAWARTHA LAKES-Some residents living in the area of Wheatfield and Post Road near Lindsay are angry about the state of the roads after Sunday’s storm.

Residents, who did not want to be named, say an elderly man with a cane went into the ditch while driving on Wheatfield trying to navigate the road this morning. (Tuesday morning) He was not injured. A second vehicle was also stuck on the road.

The City says the road was plowed on the 14th at 10 am going in one direction and 11 am in the other direction. The storm started later that day and had not been plowed since.

“The road was not serviced on January 15 due to the Significant Weather Event. If residents would like to make specific service requests regarding winter road maintenance, we encourage them to use our Report It form to do so: www.kawarthalakes.ca/ReportIt.”  Oliver Vigelius, Manager, Public Works – Roads Operations told Kawartha 411 News. 

Neighbours say they spent an hour getting that one vehicle off of the road, some laying on the ground digging underneath it. Three high school students showed up to help. A tow truck was called for the truck in the ditch.

The road was plowed this morning about an hour after Kawartha 411 inquired about the state of the road and sent officials a photo of the vehicles in the ditch.

Residents also sent us a video of the state of Post Road south of Pigeon Lake Road on Monday night shortly before 11pm.


Residents on GilMar Road and Thurstonia were also left in the lurch after the City declared a Significant Weather Event on Sunday just before 6pm. That means the City doesn’t have to meet snow removal standards as set out in council policy and is absolved of liability should someone be injured or worse.

As we first reported yesterday in November 2021 City council doubled with minimum snowfall accumulation required to initiate snow removal on Arterial city roads as well as the cycle time for clearing our roads.

Since at least 1995 the minimum snowfall required before plowing was to be initiated was 2.5 cm of accumulation on arterial roads with plows cycling every 4 hours. That changed in 2021 with council renumbering the previous policy and changing the requirements to 5 cm of snow accumulation with a 6-hour cycle. Other residential roads were changed from 8cm and a 12-hour cycle to 10-12 cm and a 16-hour cycle.

The changes came about after the Lindsay Downtown Business Improvement Area asked council to consider removing snowbanks at a lower level than was currently in the policy.

A pilot project was initiated in the 2020/21 winter season which would see downtown Lindsay receive the same level of sidewalk service as other Downtown Areas in the City and the level of service was adjusted so that the snowbank removal in all Downtown Areas be triggered at .5 meters instead of .9 meters. In November 2021 council voted to make that permanent and a number of other changes to the winter maintenance policy were added including the change to the snow accumulation level and cycle times.

A memo sent to council said the revisions contained in these two Levels of Service (LOS) are primarily concerned with mitigation of liability to protect the City of Kawartha Lakes from unnecessary exposure to legal action should the standards not be met.

“The revisions proposed to these two LOS’s are recommended as they mirror the requirements of O. Reg. 239/02 ‘Minimum Maintenance Standards’ (MMS) of the Municipal Act, which is a municipality’s primary defense against legal actions related to road and sidewalk issues. Alignment with the MMS provides a clear and unified standard which will better enable the City to protect its property taxpaying residents from legal expenses related to lawsuits against the City.” said Bryan Robinson, Director of Public Works in a report to council.

Read the full story here: https://www.kawartha411.ca/2024/01/15/council-doubled-the-minimum-snowfall-accumulation-required-for-plowing-in-2021/#:~:text=Since%20at%20least%201995%20the,with%20a%206%2Dhour%20cycle.

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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