WATCH: Delivery driver in Hamilton takes down overhead lines after snowstorm

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Published February 23, 2023 at 4:45 pm

There was a disconnect, in more than one sense of the word, between a truck driver and residents of the Gage Park area this morning.

Hamilton has a truck route master plan that is intended to confine 18-wheelers and commercial delivery trucks that are much taller than the typical personal vehicle from certain streets. But one delivery driver headed down a snowy residential street snagged wires that provide homes with internet access, causing them to drape across the hood of a snow-covered car parked in a resident’s driveway.

While the residents’ internet access was restored within a few hours, it did raise questions about whether repairing the lines fell to either the City of Hamilton, Alectra Utilities, and Rogers or Bell, the telco giants who own communications lines in Hamilton.

Hamilton, unlike most Canadian cities of similar size, does not have 311 service, which enables residents to access non-emergency municipal services, programs and information 24/7. Issues can be phoned into 905-546-CITY (2489), but it is not staffed around the clock. Municipal services in Hamilton were also dealing with clean-up efforts after the city received a total of 30.2 mm of snow and freezing rain on Wednesday (Feb. 22).

The Ward 3 elected representative, Coun. Nrinder Nann used a facepalm emoji to describe the seeming impromptu game of public infrastructure hot potato.

“This right here is yet another perfect example of a system not functioning,” Nann wrote in a tweet. “Truck drives by on a non-truck route, neighbourhood road, downs lines as a result. Resident calls city to notify, city says call (Alectra), Alectra says call Roger or bell. They say call the city.”

“We have needed an integrated response system for some time here in (Hamilton) and this term of council has to get it done,” she added.

Hamilton lacking 311 services came up on the municipal campaign trail last fall. Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath did not commit to making such a change. It was proposed by her main rival, Keanin Loomis, who finished second by a 1.17-percentage-point margin (1,663 votes).

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