FREDERICTON – A Fredericton homeowner frustrated when a plow operator dumped a load of snow at the end of his driveway succumbed to shovel rage, city officials say — chasing the loader up his suburban street, shovel swinging.
“The homeowner was not happy,” said Mike Walker, the city’s manager of roadway operations, who told a city committee this week about the Feb. 13 incident.
The plow passed by, clearing the roadway but leaving a heavy windrow as the man shovelled his driveway, Walker said in an interview Wednesday.
The man ran up the street, angrily trying to get the operator’s attention, and his shovel possibly made contact with the plow, Walker said.
“He wanted the operator to stop so he could voice his displeasure with that fact that his driveway was just filled in,” he said.
“We were in the middle of a blizzard. We received anywhere from 60 cm to 80 cm … so certainly there was a significant amount of snow going into every driveway in the city.”
The plow operator told the man he was just doing his job, and moved on, Walker said.
Walker said he understands the homeowner’s frustration, and said he has had many conversations with residents making similar complaints.
But he said he has never seen anyone chase after a plow before.
Fredericton’s $2.3 million snow-clearing budget doesn’t allow for a level of service that would clear windrows from driveways after plows pass, he said.
“That’s not a service level we provide. Certainly it’s not something we ask our operators to do — they have a tough enough job getting through their entire runs as it is,” Walker said.
“We’re going to continue plowing the way that we plow.”