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Snowed-over sidewalks force Halifax pedestrians onto the street

HALIFAX – After another winter storm dropped upwards of 50 centimetres on parts of Halifax on Wednesday, city crews were unable to clear the sidewalks by Thursday, leaving pedestrians with nowhere to walk but the street

It was a strange sight to see everybody sharing the road.

“Most of the drivers are pretty courteous, but some drivers you can tell resent you for being on the road,” said Glenn Fraser, who was walking on Gottingen Street. “They’re like, ‘you’re not supposed to be on the road,’ even though you have nowhere else to go.”

READ MORE: Halifax winter storm cleanup work begins, no state of emergency declared

Most sidewalks in the municipality are still filled with snow, though crews are working to clear them — but it’s a big job.

The only option left is to walk alongside cars, and some pedestrians say it can be a scary thing to do.

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“The roads are really, really narrow, so all the cars have to go and squish in between other cars, and there’s just nowhere to walk anywhere,” said Renee Doucette.

Drivers said sharing the road can also be a challenge.

“It’s pretty chaotic,” said Corbin Uhlman. “The sidewalks aren’t cleared, so everyone’s kind of in the road, so you need to swerve around them a little bit sometimes.”

The city is asking motorists to keep a close eye out for pedestrians.

“For the most part, people are trying to stay to the side. If they’re back is to you then just give them a little toot so they know you’re there,” said Bill Perry.

People walking on the road are advised to walk against traffic and wear brightly coloured clothes to be as visible as possible.

“It’s not too bad. Mostly people are pretty considerate, but I did see some cars that didn’t clear their windshields completely, so they wouldn’t be able to see me anyway,” said Fred Murphy.

Motorists said the key is to pay attention and not go too fast.

“You have to drive a lot slower and be a lot more cautious, but if you take your time it’s not a huge deal,” said Aletha Demond.

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