Winter season has appeared, and we should all prepare for winter driving conditions on the Tod Mountain Road. As a resident of the area for more than 14 years, I’ve seen several days where the road conditions are legitimately horrible, not from lack of maintenance, but strictly due to the temperature and snow conditions. My personal opinion of the road maintenance performed by Argo and other contractors is that they do an excellent job. Drivers new to the area need to recognize a few simple items that will save themselves, and other drivers, grief.
First of all, the drive down the hill isn’t a ski trail. Although you feel like a real hero passing people down the Five Mile ski run, following too closely or weaving around cars is dangerous at the best of times, and less predictable when the roads are snow covered. Give the vehicle in front of you plenty of space, and pass them within the many passing lanes provided. Take the time to get to know the road while the paint lines are still visible. For every mile of road, there are two miles of ditch.
Leave a few minutes earlier to get to your destination on time. We all know what happens when you’re in a rush on icy roads. Just because the speed limit on the signs says 80 km/h, doesn’t mean you have to drive that fast.
Allow a little extra room when you see snow removal equipment coming. They’re trying to make the road safer and you can help by not parking on the road, especially the narrow roads like Fairways Drive and Burfield Drive.
Pack a small shovel, a sandbag and a heavy duty rope or chain in your trunk. If you get a little stuck, at least you’ll have the tools to help yourself. Someone is more likely to help if you’ve taken a little effort on your own.
The most obvious thing you can do for your own personal safety is to have good winter tires.
A very big thanks goes out to the Argo road maintenance crew over the years, and again this year. Have a safe winter.
Barney Mouat, Whitecroft