An Icy Wall of Bylaws

Snow Plow Driveway
If you’ve been reading Kingstonist during the past year, you may have picked up on the fact that I recently became a first-time home owner. With all the fun responsibilities that come with owning a place of my own, shoveling the driveway and clearing the snowy sidewalks around our corner lot are chores that I honestly don’t mind. With the memory of snowmaggedon still all around us, I can’t help but point out a serious problem that residents across Kingston are forced to endure. Time and again over the past week, I diligently trudged out to shovel so that pedestrians did not have to walk single file down a narrow path on the sidewalk. Each and every time I retreat inside to thaw out, Mr. Plow makes his way down my street to deposit huge ice boulders; commonly referred to as snowlders, in front of my freshly cleared driveway.

Sure all of that snow from the road has to go somewhere, but isn’t there some sort of snow plow attachment that could slow the deposit of icebergs in front of my automobile? Do the drivers do this intentionally, or is there honesly nothing they can do to spare me another trip outside? I suppose I wouldn’t have such a problem with it, but the icey debris is considerably heavier than the powdery goodness that fell from the sky. My back has noticed, and I know that my elderly neighbors have noticed as well. I assume our experiences with the 3 foot wall of frozen doom are not isolated, as this is a city-wide problem. Clearly City Hall has not heard a call for change.

Instead, the city is reminding residents of Bylaw No. 2004-190, which makes it illegal to shovel your snow onto the road. Those found guilty of this offence could be charged up to a maximum of $5,000. Does this go both ways? Can I counter and charge the City when an iceberg larger than the one that sunk the Titanic ends up in front of my sedan? Is the bylaw enforced if I am simply returning the chunks of frozen fun onto the road they originated from? I’d love to hear your opinion on this, and any adventures you’ve had battling the snow plow as well as Kingston’s famous snowlders.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

3 thoughts on “An Icy Wall of Bylaws

  • I agree! Snowplows have screwed me over for far too long. I once had to get a sledge hammer out to break up a boulder at the end of our driveway.

  • This really sucks. This is tops in the list of things that really suck about Kingston, which says a lot.

    It gets worse: if your driveway is just past a right-turn, as my neighbor’s is, you get-it double. The plow drivers — jerks — don’t seem to care at all.

    In urban areas of the Province of Quebec, as well as in most hamlets in Northern New York State, they use big snow throwers, not plows, on residential streets. When they get to a driveway, they rotate the throw forward, so they don’t plug people’s driveways. How civilized!

    The bylaw reminder made me laugh. Those arrogant SOBs. Screw them! I send most of this stuff back into the street. Nobody has ever been charged, nor will ever be charged, under this bylaw.

    Funny how in Kingston we get plow-banks down both sides of thoroughfares all winter, for example Brock and Johnson, yet there’s apparently no room there for bike lanes.

    This city is, to be honest, a pathetic joke.

  • Id say if there is a solution it’s going to have to be found and implememted by the city/city council… and they probably hire snow removers for their driveways, so don’t hold your breath?

    Lets take it easy on the snow plow drivers. They work hard often very long days, the snow doesn’t stop needing to be plowed once they hit their 8 hours. A friend of mine plows up north and more often than not drives 12-16 hour days, do you really think that by hour 10 they really give a crap that people have to re-shovel the end of their drives? And if you were them would you care? I grew up in the great snowbelt that is the Barrie/Midland area and when I’m out cleaning away the snow I’m grateful in a way because no matter how much snow we have they usually have at least double… so it could be worse.

    Snow sucks, shovelling sucks, now one likes it, but look where we live. Suck it up buttercups, only a few more months left, and think how jacked you’ll be from lifting all that extra snow!

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