Tuesday in Burnaby saw a lot of people cursing in their cars as an unexpected overnight snowfall ended up stalling traffic for hours in the morning commute.
According to Tom Ng, the city's acting director of engineering, the city had all 13 of its trucks plowing and salting Tuesday morning, and Ng was expecting those trucks to work all through Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
"We have our regular snow and ice control program in effect," Ng told the Burnaby NOW. "We're starting with bus routes and primary routes and then we'll work on the secondary routes."
Ng said Tuesday morning's rush hour was particularly bad along Lougheed Highway and the city did its best to work on that main route.
SFU's Burnaby campus was open Tuesday, but according to a Tweet from SFU's public relations department, they were advising people not to travel there unless they had urgent business.
Derek Zabel, spokesperson for TransLink, said TransLink had to temporarily stop service to SFU because of several accidents on Burnaby Mountain.
"Normally, we would change from the 60-foot articulated accordion-type buses to 40-footers, but it wasn't safe to do so today," said Zabel.
Zabel said SkyTrain ran normally during Tuesday's rush hour, but bus service all throughout the Lower Mainland was slowed down by the snow.
"The bridges were really backed up and when there's snow, you'll see drivers searching for alternate routes. Those routes are often the bus routes that cities clear, so that means you get a lot more vehicles on the bus routes and that leads to some delays."
Zabel said TransLink also takes many preventative measures to ensure transit runs as close to normal as possible during snow events.
"With SkyTrain, we'll run them through the night and we'll also do some de-icing at Columbia and Waterfront stations," said Zabel. "With our trolley buses, we have trucks that will put de-icer on the trolley wires."
As for buses, Zabel said supervisors work closely to monitor the situation and problematic areas are identified and dealt with quickly.
The Burnaby RCMP were also using Twitter to advise motorists of problems in Burnaby.
On Tuesday morning, Sixth Street at 14th Avenue was closed due to poor road conditions and Canada Way at 14th Avenue was also closed as police waited for city plows to make those roads safer.
As for what advice he had for motorists, Ng said: "Keep an eye on the weather conditions, listen to the snow report and act accordingly."
Zabel concurred: "Build that extra time into your commute and you can also follow us on Twitter and get real-time info on how the buses are running."
Ng said the anticipated rising afternoon temperatures on Tuesday would allow city staff to catch up on sanding and plowing all routes in the city.
"We'll have all our equipment out day and night to try and keep the roads as safe as possible," said Ng.
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