“Mr. Mike” is a crossing guard at St. Brendan Catholic School on Centennial Rd.

By Mike Dadswell

Today is Friday, January 27, 2023. We had a snowstorm on Wednesday night where we gotapproximately six to eight inches  of snow. We average about three storms like this a year.

One of the services provided by the city from our taxes is that our sidewalks are plowed after a snowstorm. However, when the plows block access to crosswalks and they pile the snow up around the corners at intersections, they make crossing the roads very unsafe for pedestrians.

We need the plows to clear access to the crosswalks and crosswalk buttons to ensure that cars are aware pedestrians are crossing the roads, especially after snowstorms when road conditions are not the best and often slippery and slushy.

We also need the plows to clear sidewalk corners at all intersections and access to bus stops to ensure the safety of pedestrians. Some bus stops are cleared but not the access to them from the sidewalk.

All of the residents in this community need to be safe when walking our sidewalks and crossing our roads. This includes the elderly, people with disabilities, parents with strollers, and children. It is unsafe when the only way to access the road from the sidewalk is to climb up and over piles of hard craggy snow and then down the other side without falling onto the roadway. The other option for the community is to walk along the roadway and not attempt to use the sidewalk at all.

Unfortunately, this is the option that many residents take and it is a hazard for both the pedestrians and the motorists who are already dealing with hazardous driving conditions and now are avoiding pedestrians walking on the roadway because that is easier than climbing up and down snow banks made by the plows.

I have expressed this concern on many occasions to our local councillor (I have also sent a letter to the mayor) and been assured the issue will be addressed. I was advised that one issue the city had with snow plowing was that there were many different contracts with different providers of this service and that sometimes made it difficult to resolve some of these types of issues.

In the fall when there was an all-candidates meeting, I again addressed this issue and was assured that it would not be an issue this year as a new contractor was being hired and these concerns would be shared with them.

I am writing this letter to say that the issue has not been resolved. After the snowstorm on Wednesday, the sidewalk was plowed but again access to crosswalks and intersection corners were not cleared. This issue needs to be addressed before someone is seriously hurt. Whether or not new contractors were hired, we need to have a clear plan of exactly how the sidewalks are plowed, not just having a plow race along the sidewalk as quickly as possible to get done as fast as possible.

I am asking that this issue be resolved.