As of today, City of Red Deer crews were out scraping and cleaning Bus Routes within the city. Most of the main streets are now clear. Side streets are very rough, icy and tough to navigate. Drivers are finding this trying and stressful. It seems like every other town in the area does a better job of cleaning their residential streets... but do they?
The best way to compare snow removal budgets is to divide the total into the number of people in each city. In Edmonton, the budget is just over $52 Million, that works out to $55 per person for snow removal. Calgary has a budget of approximately $34 Million, or about $31 per person... they also get much less snow and much warmer weather to help melt. Sylvan Lake spends about $40 per person on a "winter works" budget... and Lacombe... well.. they're not sure. At last call they were still trying to find someone who might be able to see if maybe they had a budget. ??? .. I can tell you that they are about to begin cleaning their residential streets...
So What about Red Deer. Annual budget this year is $3,435,000. There are other funds available for a heavy snow year if that were to become the case. That budget works out to $37 per person. We get more snow and colder weather than Calgary, about the same snow and slightly warmer than Edmonton... It doesn't appear to be cost that is preventing residential cleaning, but policy. Red Deer policy is that after a significant snow fall the city will make a descretionary call as to when and if they will clean... and they will do that within 40 days of said snowfall.
Perhaps they will only clean the bike lanes this year! In the meantime, be patient and careful out there.