Racist graffiti has sparked a local worker to renew his calls for the City to clean up 176th Street.
“It was sad to see (the graffiti),” Hickmore said. “I was shocked. It’s pretty messed up.”
Ryan Hickmore works at a business on 176th and he says his part of Cloverdale’s main drag is the forgotten section.
He works on 176th — south of Highway 10 — where the road runs into a dead end after about four blocks, as it hits the railway tracks.
“It’s a garbage dump here. People drive up here all the time and dump stuff,” he said. “After the couch, a car seat, another shopping cart, and a rocking horse arrived yesterday.”
Hickmore says he’s called the City repeatedly about the illegal dumping.
“The problem is that their turnaround time is weeks,” Hickmore added.
A few months ago, he said he saw people setting up a tent city at the end of the street. He called bylaw enforcement, but said they never showed up. A few days later, Hickmore called the RCMP.
“Within a couple of days, (the police) had it cleared out, but it was six weeks later before the City followed up with me. Someone from bylaw (enforcement) called and said, ‘We don’t see anything there.’”
Hickmore noted — along with the vehicles that dump large items, like couches and TVs — there are people that go there to strip wire.
“They just want the copper and then they take it up the block to the recycler.”
On the way to the end of 176th, there were three more dumping spots strewn with garbage and abandoned shopping carts, as well as another dumping spot scattered with debris down the cul-de-sac across from Mainroad’s highways yard.
Hickmore said seeing the racist graffiti has moved him to renew his call for the City to fix the dumping problem.
“A video camera and signs could probably deter the people who come here in cars and dump the larger items.”
He said he tries to deter people by running out of his business to tell them he’s calling the police.
“The police are pretty quick to respond,” he said. “I just hate this stuff going on right next to our business.”
Hickmore admits it will be difficult to stop the homeless people that live in the area from dumping other types of garbage.
The area is also littered with mounds of meat packaging from No Frills.
Piles of rotting chicken legs and chicken breasts and mounds of rotting ground beef lay among soiled clothing and mounds of plastic waste. A propane tank leans against the bushes and wheelless shopping carts lie about. Even a bathtub-sized pedicure spa is tipped on its side — stripped of everything useful but its fiberglass shell.
Hickmore pointed out two homeless camps just off the rail line, toward the east.
He said he mentioned the homeless camps to the City too, but they said dealing with the camps is the responsibility of the rail line.