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Rocky View Publishing assistant editor is urging residents to clear their sidewalks

By: Sara Wilson

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 12:43 pm

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One of my favourite things to do after work is to take the dog out for a long walk.

Itís a way for me to stomp out the frustrations that come with any career choice and reflect on decisions made and plan for the next day.

It used to be anyways, because recently itís become more dangerous and infuriating than relaxing.

Airdrie residents, clear off your sidewalks, itís simple. Buy a bag of salt, shovel the snow, chip at the ice and be a good neighbour.

I canít tell you how many times my dog and I have slipped and fallen on someoneís sidewalk that hasnít been cleared.

Now, there are some of you who are responsible neighbours, and to you, I say thank you. It makes a massive difference.

To those of you that are too busy, remember that it is your responsibility, not the Cityís to clear the sidewalks, if you feel that itís an inconvenience to do so, keep in mind it can come with a $300 fine.

That being said, itís not just the sidewalks that are in horrid conditions, some of our great cityís back streets are still covered in snow Ė six weeks after our first snow event.

Local roads are classed as Priority 4 on the Cityís snow removal schedule.

According to the City, residential plowing occurs when the road is rendered impassable or in extenuating circumstances. In the residential areas, snow is plowed to boulevards, side yards or open spaces.

Now, I understand that Dec. 2 and 3, 2013 snow event was extreme, and itís left a ton of snow in itís wake, but itís been six weeks now, how much longer do we as taxpayers have to wait.

Walking through the residential streets near Nose Creek Park, there are piles of snow still blocking cars in on the streets, the Canals residential area is in terrible condition, and Iím sure there are plenty of other streets that are in comparable conditions.

So whatís the plan then, what can residents do to take matters into their own hands? Well, nothing really, besides getting out there and actually shoveling their streets, and the aforementioned sidewalks.

Residents in a community canít ban together to hire snow removal, thatís against bylaw, as it could damage the city streets, developers canít plow their communityís streets for the same reason, and surprisingly residents canít place the snow removed from sidewalks and driveways onto the roadway or any public space, as it is also against city bylaw.

So I guess we wait until the next Chinook, because that seems to be a common theme in southern Alberta, but does it actually work?

For the month of December 2013, Environment Canada recorded 12 days in the month that were above zero degrees, the average of those 12 days was 6.2įC. For the first half of January, itís been quite balmy really, with10 days were temperatures have been above zero Ė for an average of 5įC.

Again, granted that December 2013 saw two and a half times more snow than average, the idea that warmer temperatures will be part of the Cityís snow removal policy, just proved itself wrong.

We need a better plan, itís simple.

If you know your neighbour physically canít maintain the sidewalks or driveway because of impairment, please do the right thing and help them.

If youíre too busy to clear your sidewalks pay someone to do it or call me, Iíll come and clear the sidewalks; because in the end, itís better than a bruised or broken tailbone.


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