The snow on sidewalks around Halifax is being cleared better for people with accessibility needs despite some lingering issues, according to one advocate.
“It’s not as bad as it was last year. There’s a bit of a different attitude at city hall, more sort of proactive about getting stuff done,” said Paul Vienneau, who made headlines last year after clearing snow off a sidewalk he uses on a wheelchair.
Vienneau’s concerns include sidewalks and crosswalks not being cleared wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.
“The city has a moral and ethical responsibility to reasonably enable people like me and the elderly to safely do what we need to do to live fuller lives,” said Vienneau.
Halifax received an unusually large amount of snow last year, which put a significant strain on snow clearing crews.
Trevor Harvie, acting superintendent of Halifax Regional Municipality’s winter operations department, said crews weren’t aware their clearing efforts sometimes left problems for people in wheelchairs.
Staff are working on specific guidelines for the department that ensure accessibility is further emphasized in the snow clearing thought process.
The next steps include implementing similar guidelines in snow clearing contracts, and future development and design projects.
“It’s long overdue and we’re definitely in the process of working towards it,” said Harvie.
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