A car went off Pleasant Valley Road Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, one of several that have ended up in the ditch in the North Okanagan during the past week’s snow storm. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

A car went off Pleasant Valley Road Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, one of several that have ended up in the ditch in the North Okanagan during the past week’s snow storm. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

WATCH: Don’t just blame AIM, all North Okanagan road crews struggling

City streets are just as bad, if not worse, than highways

A new highway maintenance contractor isn’t the only one struggling to keep roads cleared of snow and ice.

Vernon roads are arguably worse than area highways as city crews are also having a hard time keeping on top of the snow storms.

“The last few weeks have been challenging for road crews across most of B.C.,” City of Vernon communications manager Christy Poirier said. “A series of significant snow storms followed by extremely cold weather have led to compact snow and icy roads. This has created difficulties for all road users in the region.”

READ MORE: Many Vernon roads remain an ice rink

READ MORE: Editorial: Sympathy for Shuswap snow plowers and adapting to exceptional conditions

Vernon road crews are assessing road conditions across the city on a regular basis to identify problem areas and determine where ice control is required, Poirier said.

“Crews are currently focusing on sanding operations that are enhanced by pre-treating the sand with liquid de-icer to maximize the bond to the road surface.”

There are two roads within the city boundary that the province is responsible for: 32nd Avenue (Highway 97) and Highway 6. These are maintained by the province’s contractor, AIM Roads.

AIM Roads has been the subject of a storm of public criticism since winter hit local highways.

READ MORE: Poor highway condition leaves Coldstream mayor frosty

“I just think people need to be a little bit more patient and understand the situation is all over,” AIM Roads operations manager Gabriel Nava told Black Press.

The City of Vernon concurs.

“The city appreciates the public’s patience as we have responded to harsh winter conditions,” Poirier said.

City crews operate on a priority basis. Details regarding priority routes are available on the city’s website.

“Now that the temperature is starting to rise, we would like to remind motorists to continue driving to conditions,” Poirier said. “We all need to give ourselves extra room between vehicles and extra time to reach our destinations.”

“By taking it a little easier while driving, we give ourselves more time to react to unexpected situations on the road.”

READ MORE: AIM Roads responds to abuse of staff, public frustrations in Okanagan Shuswap


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