Better snow-clearing in the 2023-24 forecast


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Relative to Winnipeg as a whole, West Broadway has a high share of people whose main mode of commuting is public transit, walking, or cycling. As such, many neighbourhood residents will recall last winter’s above-average snowfall and the strain it put on users of our sidewalks. The city plans to be better equipped for winters like last one in the near future.

David Kron is a member of the steering committee for Barrier-Free Manitoba and executive director of the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba. Barrier-Free Manitoba is a cross-disability initiative which champions and is working to ensure effective implementation of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act.

“We totally understand that Winnipeg is a winter city. And last year was a brutal winter,” Kron said. “Last year, we knew of a lot of stories where people just couldn’t leave their apartments or their houses based on the snow-clearing that happened.”

He noted that, while adverse weather played a role last winter, the city’s snow-clearing resources were a critical factor.

“The actual policy the City of Winnipeg has on snow-clearing and sidewalks is pretty sound. It’s just having the resources to fully implement it over a bad winter,” Kron said.

In June 2018, city council adopted an active transportation network winter maintenance strategy. Part of this strategy involved identifying snow-clearing priority levels for active transportation routes, such as sidewalks, bike paths and multi-use paths.

In 2022, the public works department conducted a review of the snow-clearing policy. One recommendation adopted by council was increasing the capital budget by $3 million to purchase 15 new sidewalk snow ploughs to improve clearing response times.

“We asked for that equipment and that equipment will be available to us next year” said Michael Cantor, manager of streets aintenance for the city.

Kantor added that the equipment will not be available for this coming winter. The ploughs should be available by May or June 2023, meaning improved service during heavy snowfall for the 2023-24 winter season.

Kron has been engaged by city departments and appreciates that city staff are working to educate themselves on accessibility.

“There’s 175,000 Manitobans that are identified with a disability…. If you’re lucky enough to live long enough, everyone is going to be disabled. Whether you’re disabled or not, poor communication and poor snow clearing affects every Winnipegger. We need to communicate and have the robust resources to (clear sidewalks).” Kron said.

Dylon Martin

Dylon Martin
West Broadway community correspondent

Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for West Broadway.

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