Clear sidewalks essential for pedestrians


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/11/2017 (1963 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

All the telltale signs of winter have officially hit Winnipeg. Snow cover, ice and hesitant drivers — or so I’m told by some of my motorist friends.

As a West Broadway resident, I have been very pleased so far with the snow clearing on sidewalks. In the downtown area sidewalks have been cleared with haste.

Of course, the first snowfall is not the best test of the city’s response time. Based on my memories of living in Elmwood, sidewalk issues become pronounced later in the season. Melting and re-freezing resulted in thick black ice on many sidewalks. I remember it being nearly impossible to walk to the bus stop, given the combination of terribly slippery sidewalks and fierce winds.

Ensuring sidewalks are cleared is very important for ensuring walkability in a city with winters as harsh as Winnipeg’s. These pedestrian concerns are particularly relevant in a central, urban neighbourhood such as West Broadway.

According to the City of Winnipeg’s neighbourhood profile for West Broadway, based on data from the 2011 National Household Survey, 17.1 per cent of the West Broadway residents walked to work while 34 per cent took the bus. For the city as a whole, the figures are 5.5 per cent and 14.6 per cent respectively.

Based on experience and common sense, many people on residential streets have to walk at least half a block to reach bus stops. Clear sidewalks are thus essential for smooth commutes for 20 per cent of West Broadway workers.

Snow clearing will likely be more of a concern in Winnipeg in the upcoming years. In eight of the past 10 years  the City has overspent its snow clearing budget. Winnipeg and the Canadian prairies have historically enjoyed relatively dry winters but, with the changing climate, researchers  expect we will be in for more snowfall. As a long-term trend, this will likely mean Winnipeg’s snow clearing budgets will have to rise.

For now, am enjoying the beauty of the winter landscape while walking and doing errands. Hopefully, the City of Winnipeg will continue to promptly clear sidewalks throughout the season or many West Broadway residents could be in for major inconvenience.

Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for West Broadway.

Dylon Martin

Dylon Martin
West Broadway community correspondent

Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for West Broadway.

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