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Winter Walking and Cycling
(02-21-2019, 07:17 PM)jeffster Wrote:
(02-21-2019, 09:35 AM)chutten Wrote: Oh, I'm sorry. I misinterpreted you. I was in too much of a hurry and didn't take the time to understand you better.

No your fault..I meant to say that I wasn't clear on that...another typo. I was probably as clear as mud.

I feel like this is going to turn into, "Tower 1 is now Tower 2 which was actually built first. And tower 3 will be tower 1, but built second" !!!
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(02-22-2019, 10:56 AM)Rainrider22 Wrote: I feel like this is going to turn into, "Tower 1 is now Tower 2 which was actually built first. And tower 3 will be tower 1, but built second" !!!

Third base!
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According to this article from the CBC, updated yesterday, the City of Kitchener has received 2,145 complaints for uncleared sidewalks this winter. I wonder if the call centre and bylaw will be able to put an estimated cost on listening to, logging, and following up on all of these complaints. That sounds like it must be a lot of staff time, and tax dollars.
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Was there any breakdown as to number of duplicate complaints for the same property?
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(02-22-2019, 11:59 AM)MidTowner Wrote: According to this article from the CBC, updated yesterday, the City of Kitchener has received 2,145 complaints for uncleared sidewalks this winter. I wonder if the call centre and bylaw will be able to put an estimated cost on listening to, logging, and following up on all of these complaints. That sounds like it must be a lot of staff time, and tax dollars.

Oh, the cost will be low, they have only a few officers, which means they basically take days maybe more than a week to get through the back log.  Just one more way in which bylaw is a sad joke of a solution.
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(02-22-2019, 12:42 PM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(02-22-2019, 11:59 AM)MidTowner Wrote: According to this article from the CBC, updated yesterday, the City of Kitchener has received 2,145 complaints for uncleared sidewalks this winter. I wonder if the call centre and bylaw will be able to put an estimated cost on listening to, logging, and following up on all of these complaints. That sounds like it must be a lot of staff time, and tax dollars.

Oh, the cost will be low, they have only a few officers, which means they basically take days maybe more than a week to get through the back log.  Just one more way in which bylaw is a sad joke of a solution.

I think they have around 15 or 20 officers -- mathematically: If we have 100 days of complaints, that would work to 21 complaints per day. If we assume that they have 10 officers working per day, that's 2.1 complaints per officer per day for them to investigate. Mind you, some days it will be more, sometimes less. But if they can't figure out how to deal with anything less than 10 complaints per officer per day, then something is seriously wrong. Even if we said there are 10 by-law enforcers (that can deal with sidewalks), and the 2,145 complaints, that's still about 220 complaints per officer for the winter months (100 days). Of course, 100 days of winter might be on the low side some years, which only spreads the complaints more thinly.

I do agree, though, that this isn't the best solution. Wish I had an answer.
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(02-22-2019, 02:52 PM)jeffster Wrote: I think they have around 15 or 20 officers -- mathematically: If we have 100 days of complaints, that would work to 21 complaints per day.  If we assume that they have 10 officers working per day, that's 2.1 complaints per officer per day for them to investigate. Mind you, some days it will be more, sometimes less. But if they can't figure out how to deal with anything less than 10 complaints per officer per day, then something is seriously wrong. Even if we said there are 10 by-law enforcers (that can deal with sidewalks), and the 2,145 complaints, that's still about 220 complaints per officer for the winter months (100 days). Of course, 100 days of winter might be on the low side some years, which only spreads the complaints more thinly.

I do agree, though, that this isn't the best solution. Wish I had an answer.

I like the math overall and agree with the outcomes, even after playing around with the model a little bit.

The complaints will be bursty, clustered around precipitation events. To the fairly limited extent we get snow in November and December we get fairly regular thaws and I think most people won't be so sick of uncleared sidewalks. By the time March rolls around the thaws start coming up again, so it seems to me that the most complaint volume is going to be during the 59 (or 60) days in February and January which bumps things to around 35 (I'm rounding down for the sake of simplicity) complaints per day.

That only bumps it to 3.5 complaints per officer per day which is well under your threshold.

I also suspect there are more complaints on weekdays (people walking to work and schools) which might bring the day count down to somewhere around 42 which brings the complaint-per-office value up to 5.
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At least this winter, they would not be evenly-spread at all. We have not had many significant snow falls- the last was on the 12th of February, for instance, ten days ago. Prior to that was the 23rd of January. December was quite mild and the precipitation was mostly rain. What snow we had then was cleared by some very unusually warm days.

Take the snowfall of the 23rd of January. By the 4th of February, many sidewalks had still not been cleared by property owners. Let's call that 10 days in which the bylaw was enforce and valid complaints were being received. I was told by staff that "over 1000" complaints had been received following the January 23 snowfall. Would that be too many for bylaw to reasonably respond to in ten days? They didn't.
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(02-22-2019, 02:52 PM)jeffster Wrote:
(02-22-2019, 12:42 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Oh, the cost will be low, they have only a few officers, which means they basically take days maybe more than a week to get through the back log.  Just one more way in which bylaw is a sad joke of a solution.

I think they have around 15 or 20 officers -- mathematically: If we have 100 days of complaints, that would work to 21 complaints per day.  If we assume that they have 10 officers working per day, that's 2.1 complaints per officer per day for them to investigate. Mind you, some days it will be more, sometimes less. But if they can't figure out how to deal with anything less than 10 complaints per officer per day, then something is seriously wrong. Even if we said there are 10 by-law enforcers (that can deal with sidewalks), and the 2,145 complaints, that's still about 220 complaints per officer for the winter months (100 days). Of course, 100 days of winter might be on the low side some years, which only spreads the complaints more thinly.

I do agree, though, that this isn't the best solution. Wish I had an answer.

I'm not sure why you think there are 15 or 20 (or even 10) Bylaw officers doing this--do you have a source?  I believe four were hired for the proactive work.  I would be surprised if there were more than 2-3 officers on duty on any given day before this year.

Also, complaints are extremely bursty, like the snow which causes it, and most days the officers cannot enforce because there has been in the last 24 hours or currently is snow falling. For example, I was told, that over the last weekend, there were multiple hundreds of complaints, even if officers can hit 100 complaints a day, they might still be well beyond capacity on first visit alone this weekend, never mind follow up.
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Were these 100 unique addresses?
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(02-22-2019, 05:53 PM)creative Wrote: Were these 100 unique addresses?

I don't have that information, certainly not all, but many are.  Worse, while many are probably on the same street, i.e., I call in a dozen sidewalks on Queen regularly, the person on the phone said they had 100's of calls, (each of which might register multiple complaints) but because they're unique calls, they're probably all over the city.
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Nobody needed to get to work in the next week right?

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This has been the weirdest winter I can remember.
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Every year is different, but this hasn't been a particularly hard winter. There have been some significant temperature swings, but the average temperature in January (-7.9) was pretty close to the average. There was no winter to speak of, really, before January.

It hasn't been a very difficult winter for sidewalk clearing, in my opinion. January and February had less precipitation than normal, and a lot less snow. More freezing rain events (well, two?), but plenty of very mild weather to help with ice clearing.

I saw a temperature of seven degrees on my home thermometer on Sunday the 24th, for instance. If you can't break up some ice on a sidewalk at seven degrees, you aren't probably going to be clearing a sidewalk at all. And, for some people, this is true- yesterday morning, after that thaw, there will still sidewalks in Kitchener with thick layers of ice that had been allowed to persist, now for a full two weeks, and windrows blocking crosswalks for the same length of time.
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Yeah, I was walking down the street on Sunday, and the sidewalks were bone dry and clear, except for the houses where clearly no effort had been made at all. If every other house on your street has clear sidewalks and you don't, you can't excuse it on unusually difficult conditions any more.
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