Bureaucracy is whack, to paraphrase the late Whitney Houston. However, next time you feel like complaining about how slow things happen in your city, consider this: in one Canadian city, it takes 44 years to repair a curb city crews wrecked while plowing snow.
In what is perhaps the silliest and best laugh-so-you-don’t-cry story of recent weeks, one fed-up Canadian gentleman is going to the press with his story about a wrecked curb. It happens to be right in his driveway and it was wrecked by a city snow removal machine, Calvin Hawley tells CBC.ca.
Hawley lives in Tyrone Bay in St. Vital, Winnipeg and he’s been filing complaints with the city on a regular basis for years, just so he could get to see the curb fixed. It was wrecked in 1993, on the day his son was born and he returned home from the hospital to find a chunk of it torn, under a pile of snow.
He knew it would be hard to get a crew out there to fix it, but he was willing to wait. Little did he imagine it would be decades before he got an answer to his complaints. Indeed, he’s yet to see the curb fixed: in 2017, he filed another complaint online, after being told all his previous ones had been lost or didn’t count anymore. He was issued an instant estimation for the repair date: June 26, 2037.
“It is kinda funny when you think about. It will be a grand day when they actually come out,” Hawley says. “It's 26 years old right now, if you do the math and they don't get around to doing it until their target date of 2037. Then this is damage that would have sat here for  years. How is that reasonable?”
One councilor explains for CBC.ca that this issue is not as uncommon as he’d like in Winnipeg, mostly because it’s more convenient to fix curbs when you pave streets. There’s also the issue of whether the repair job is deemed a priority – and it seems that, if it’s not, it can take forever to get a crew out.
“While I do understand some of these piecemeal repairs can add up and be time-consuming and costly. Surely to goodness it costs less to repair some curbs than paving the whole street,” Hawley says. “My own personal bet is we'll probably have it replaced and then in the spring they will come and re-pave our street and rip up the curbs again.”
For a man who has to wait 44 long years to see a curb on his driveway repaired, after it was destroyed by a city crew, Hawley still has his sense of humor about him.
Curb damaged by city truck 26 years ago scheduled for repair — by 2037