News / Winnipeg

Fall street sweeping saga continues

Winnipeg can't decide whether or not it should sweep leaves from the roads in the fall.

Metro File

To sweep leaves, or not to sweep leaves?  

A little over a year ago, the city decided cutting a program to sweep leaves from the streets each fall was a good way to save a buck.

In October 2015, Winnipeg city council axed the fall street sweeping program to save $700,000, and asked residents to help clear the street in front of their own homes.

Streets were expectedly leafy, people were critical on social media, so at the request of Coun. Cindy Gilroy, city staff came up with $200,000 to spot-treat the worst areas.

Then, having seemingly learned nothing, the fall sweeping program was again missing from this year’s preliminary budget.

Coun. Janice Lukes has asked that $200,000 be found again.

“This impacts our sewers, it impacts our drains, it impacts the roads, it impacts a lot of the active transportation (routes),” she said. “All the garbage pushes over into the bike corridors.”

In an earlier interview with Metro, the city’s manager of streets maintenance Jim Berezowsky said the council-approved reduction in fall sweeping services has been met with mixed-responses.

“There’s a possibility for… I wouldn’t say dangers, but that (less) fall sweeping could be an issue,” Berezowsky said.

He explained how whether or not the maintenance change is hazardous “all depends on the location.”

The reduction in sweeping wasn’t total, as the city still provides safety sweeping “at certain locations,” for instance.

“Our focus has been at key intersections, pedestrian crossings, that stuff where decomposition of foliage presents itself as a problem” Berezowsky said. “On straightaways in between the blocks, that has not been considered a safety concern.”

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