Saturday, November 20, 2010

Snow and buses

So Metro Vancouver got its first full snow blanketing of the season. I can't say I missed the snow too much, but this is Canada and there's a rumor out there about this country being a bit cold.

I had the misfortune of heading out to Burnaby Mountain yesterday when the snow was almost limited to north Burnaby. It always fascinates me to see the snow slowly appear over there as you rise in elevation. It's like you left the Lower Mainland and have arrived in some remote place in the interior.

SFU has a cool setup when it comes to bus exchanges, in the way that there's a main bus exchange and a secondary one at the Transportation Center; that way, you get your pick of not only which one's closer, but which one is covered or uncovered. Unfortunately, I'm a bit of an idiot and used the uncovered one both times even though on sunny summer days, I use the covered one. (In another act of idiocy, I installed snow tires on my wheelchair but not my car. Priorities, right?)

As I was getting set to board the bus leaving campus, the ramp lowered and sank right into the snow bank on the edge of the sidewalk. That reminds me of something I've always wondered about: when the bus exchanges and bus stops are cleared, why is the area around the bus stop pole always unshoveled at the edge? I've seen countless able-bodied people have to nearly (and sometimes actually) jump over the snowbank at the edge of the sidewalks at bus stops in order to board.

I was able to pop a wheelie in my wheelchair, float my front caster wheels over the ramp and slam down with the casters onto the ramp to flatten the snow and make the whole thing work, but it was only because the snow was new and not icy. During the freak snowstorm a few years ago, I wasn't so lucky and had to battle away chunks of ice in order for the ramp or lift to even work.

So the question remains: when clearing the bus stops, why isn't more attention being paid to the area around the bus stop pole on the edge of the sidewalk, where most people have to get through in order to board the bus? I'm not asking for a spotless cleanup, but at least try to get rid of the snow/ice accumulation in that particular spot.

No comments:

Post a Comment