So, a City Council that has preached the fundamentals of equity and erasing bias since it was elected, this is a thorny question. How do we marry the idea of slower snow removal times with a City that’s truly accessible?
“These service reductions are a concern for this [Accessibility Advisory] committee,” said LaRiviere. “Persons with limited mobility are disproportionately affected by snow and ice control measures, and face the risk of increased injuries in icy conditions.”
Arne Andres, a director at Click & Push Accessibility and an advocate for better mobility options in Edmonton, said that snow and ice removal is a massive issue for his community.
“Snow removal is not always a priority… Even the shoveled snow on the street and sidewalks create barriers themselves”
The Committee voted to back a plan that would make the public more aware of the needs of the disabled when it comes to removing snow from our sidewalks, and create a clearer communication plan around neighbourhood parking bans.
Coun. Andrew Knack said that, while he’s comfortable with how well the City does when it comes to getting the main roads cleared, he’s not happy with how long it takes to do snow removal in the smaller streets, pathways and bus shelters.
“It’s how we’re addressing the local roads and how we’re addressing the infrastructure for those who can’t drive or choose not to drive that is still significantly off where I think we need to be,” he said. “But we’ll have that conversation later this year. My hope is that we’ll see at least a return to last year’s levels sooner rather than later. And I’d like to see us move up to the ideal level by the end of the budget cycle.”