Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Seniors dodge cars on streets

Many city sidewalks still buried in snow

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SEVEN days after the last snowstorm, senior Elsie Karl and her neighbours are still putting themselves in danger and dodging moving vehicles as they walk on the street in their West Kildonan neighbourhood.

"There are no sidewalks," Karl said Wednesday. "You have to walk down the street."

Actually, there are sidewalks, but they're buried under snow.

"There are so many seniors with walkers and canes," said Karl, who lives in a seniors' highrise at Aikins Street and Jefferson Avenue.

"That's seven days now since the snow fell. From Jefferson to Enniskillen (avenues) -- two blocks, long blocks -- none of the sidewalks are done. None of the side streets are done," Karl said.

"They did them once this year" during an earlier snowstorm, but sidewalk clearing has been sporadic at best in recent years, she said.

Earlier this week, a truck spun out and slid, nearly hitting seniors who had been forced to walk on the roadway, she said.

The sidewalks won't be cleaned until at least the weekend.

Wind blew apart the city's sidewalk-clearing plans, said city communications officer Tammy Melesko.

"There has been a delay in getting to the P-3 (priority 3) sidewalks, the residential," she said.

Sidewalks in the two higher-priority categories had all been done, then wind blew the snow back onto them, she said.

"With the high winds, the main streets, the bus routes, the collectors, the snow blew in again," forcing city crews to clear them once more.

"They had to switch from a blade to a blower. These are slower," Melesko said.

"Some (residential sidewalks) have been done. They'll start the rest this weekend and into next week."

Although it won't make Karl and her neighbours feel better, "we do sand on the priority 1 and 2," but not on residential sidewalks, Melesko said.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 24, 2013 A3

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