Every winter, it’s pedestrians who suffer

Snow has been plowed onto sidewalks and left for days.

 

Dear Sir:

Slipping and sliding a couple of Saturdays back, when the big snow turned to rain, I decided to survey about the sketchy sidewalks.

I wasn’t prepared for the embarrassment (from a local showing a visitor around), irritation (from a business owner), and outright rage (from a granny — I won’t repeat her salty language).  Or the stories of bruises, sprains, and even a broken bone.  “Year after year,” people said, “the same thing: sloppy, slick, and dangerous.”

Now, I know Public Works does the best it can, but its budget serves cars first.  Snow has been plowed onto sidewalks and left for days; when they’re plowed, sanding might come, might not.  And the sidewalks themselves, as well as the roads adjacent, sometimes have dips and hollows that guarantee soaked feet or car-splash.

And talking of cars, why do drivers, who courteously try to give you room when you walk — or are forced to walk — on the road, drive out of the track and into the slush?  Answer: they never walk, so don’t know to stay in the track.  Solution: walk in front of them to make them slow down so they won’t splash; if they curse, tell them to take it to City Hall. Sue the City for negligence, too.

With mayor and council newly installed, I request that they adjust road maintenance  priority.  Fund and direct Public Works to service sidewalks equally with cars.  Plow and sand within the day — and especially before the weekend.  Make it mandatory.  Come spring, fill the dips and hollows.  Survey residents to determine work necessary.

The city’s “green” image seems to have been left in the summer.  Snowbound and icy sidewalks mean more driving — people told me they’re afraid to walk.  They also want to keep the weight off — it’s a health issue, too, beyond the injuries from falls.

“Year after year” — I heard that regularly in my survey.  Let’s hope this is the last one.

Dr. David Heinimann,

Terrace, BC

(Nov. 30, 2011. Editor’s note. The letter writer subsequently sent in an addition to this letter first published Nov. 289 and it has now been included.)

 

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