A White Rock resident who has had three vehicles crash onto his property during winter snow storms in the past six years is hoping the city will do something about it before it happens again.
Tom Craig, who lives on Sunset Drive, said Archibald Road should be shut down immediately when the snow starts to fall and more is expected.
“At some point, short little cones are put across the top of the street – I’m not sure if the city does that. But by the time somebody does something, it seems like it’s always after the fact,” he said.
On Dec. 9, 2016, a truck went over a wall in their yard, he noted.
On Dec. 25, 2021, a car became lodged in a tree on the property.
The most recent crash happened on Dec. 6 of this year, during another winter snow storm, when a Tesla “jumped the curb at the base of Archibald, flew over the neighbour’s garden, landing on the driveway beyond and then carried on another 20 feet through some bush and over our wall, landing on top of our shed, squashing it,” Craig wrote in an email on Dec. 21 to White Rock mayor Megan Knight.
“The driver sustained spinal injuries and it took the ambulance four hours to get to him. This is the third vehicle that has landed on our property in six years.”
Craig said he has spoken with and written to city staff about having fences installed along the boulevard to help prevent more such incidents from happening in the future, but has not received any response.
Two vehicles have landed in his neighbour’s yard as well, he said.
“We have hardly started our winter here and there is a lot more time for more of these incidents unless something is done soon. We feel like we are in a shooting gallery when it snows,” he wrote in his email to Knight.
He was lucky he had moved his truck prior to the most recent crash, Craig told Peace Arch News Wednesday, as the Tesla otherwise would have landed on the vehicle.
His neighbour, Dr. Mahsa Soraya, has lived in White Rock for 30 years.
Soraya also sent an email to Knight and others, including White Rock councillors, on Dec. 21, noting there are three routes out of her Sunset Drive home, but none had been cleared, plowed or salted by noon on Wednesday, after nearly 30 centimetres of snow fell overnight Tuesday.
“Can at least just one of this side streets be cleaned please so we can leave the house safely,” she wrote.
Knight responded in less than 40 minutes, telling Soraya that she, too lives on Sunset Drive and has for 20 years.
“Our street is not a priority route for the plowing, so what we have always done, along with our neighbours, when we get heavy snow in the forecast, is park on Marine Drive, because we know that is a priority route and we will be able to get in and out,” Knight responded.
“My husband and I hand shovel the walkway at the bottom of Brearley Street, so we and our neighbours can walk down or up from Marine to our homes or vehicle. We did so again early this morning.
“Our crews are working as fast as they can, but with this amount of snowfall, it takes time. As of writing this email, I see now the plow has come along, so our street has now been plowed.
“You should be able to leave safely now,” the mayor wrote.
Soraya responded that she understands their road is not a priority, and that they understand to park their vehicles elsewhere when snow is expected. But with two elderly parents who cannot walk up or down steep hills to get to cars if they’re parked elsewhere, which means they must keep one vehicle in the garage in case of emergency, she noted.
Craig said he has not heard back from anybody in the city’s engineering department.
Peace Arch News has reached out to White Rock director of engineering and municipal operations Jim Gordon via email and phone.
Craig agreed it would be nice to have at least one route cleared for the neighbourhood’s residents.
“My concern is having some way to stop cars from breaching properties in this neighbourhood,” Craig said.