A hero Vancouver needs: Axe-wielding 'Phantom Shovel' clears ice off streets

Jan 5 2017, 5:23 pm

He’s got an axe and he is ready to take action.

Pete Bigby, who goes by the ‘Phantom Shovel’ on Twitter, is a Port Moody resident fed up with the city’s failure to clear the ice and hardened snow on public sidewalks.

Bigby, 27,  has taken it upon himself to do the job. With his trusty axe, shovel, and sledgehammer the ‘Phantom Shovel’ spends about four hours per day getting rid of snow and ice on side streets.

“The side streets have been neglected for quite some time, which is the case everywhere,” Bigby told Daily Hive. “And the plow drivers are inexperienced. They’re afraid to go into those tight areas where they need to go.”

Originally from Ontario, Bigby says the way Vancouverites have been handling the snow and cold weather is “totally embarrassing.”

“Especially the way people have been lining up for salt,” Bigby said. “If everyone that was spending all of this effort trying to get salt would just spend that same amount of time with a shovel or a pickaxe chipping away at the sidewalk, then the problem would have been dealt with on day one.”

He often takes to Twitter to share his ice-clearing escapades, and he’s not afraid to call out people who have failed to shovel their walkways.

So far, Bigby said that people have been appreciative of his efforts, but no one has offered to become his sidekick yet.

“People really haven’t been joining in yet. They have been walking by and commenting. But it is just starting to gain traction and I think I will have a little more help now that I am getting attention.”

Now this is the hero that Vancouver needs. We salute you, Phantom Shovel.

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