*EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally stated the most tickets for not clearing sidewalks were in the Glenora area, but the correct neighbourhood was Garneau.
When it comes to overall snow and ice removal complaints, just over 2,000 have been lodged with the City of Edmonton so far this year. That’s down from 3,326 that were received during the same time period ( Oct. 1 to Jan. 12) last season.
Many Edmontonians are sure their own neighbourhood has the worst non-compliant offenders, but there are three areas that have seen the most tickets so far: Garneau, McKernan and Strathcona.
There have been 13 tickets handed out in the Strathcona area and 15 in McKernan, but Garneau leads the way so far this year, with 56 tickets being handed out to those who haven’t cleared their sidewalks.
City spokesperson Allison Burns says Edmontonians are “responsible for clearing snow from every walk and driveway on or beside any vacant properties they own within 48 hours after the end of a snowfall.”
The city pledges to do the same on all of their properties within the same time frame. And even though complaints and fines are down this year, the penalty is the same.
“The fine for not maintaining your walks in the winter is $100,” Burns said.
She explained complaints “increase substantially” when there are warm cycles in the middle of winter that create more icy sidewalk issues. Compliance levels also tend to drop off later in the winter season.
If your walkways are still quite slippery, there are a number of places to pick up free sand to help create better traction outside of city roadway maintenance yards:
- Central: 10517 – 95 Street
- Northeast: 13003 – 56 Street
- Southeast: 5409 – 59 Avenue
- Southwest: 14710 Ellerslie Road (on the roadway beside the eco station)
- Northwest: 14320 – 114 Avenue
Edmonton has seen an upward trend for slip and fall complaints this year. There have been 70 documented cases of ice- or snow-related tumbles since October, almost twice the amount reported to the city in the same time frame last year.
“Snow and ice that remains on sidewalks is hazardous for everyone,” said Burns, adding that those with limited mobility could have a more difficult time navigating an icy stretch and could be seriously injured in a fall.
It’s also particularly hard for people in wheelchairs or strollers to pass through an unshovelled stretch of snow.
Burns added that ice on private property makes it difficult for “mail carriers, meter readers, firefighters and paramedics to do their jobs safely.”
Alberta Health Services offers their advice when it comes to avoiding a wintertime fall. They say to wear steady footwear and to carry bags that allow your arms to be free.
They also recommend taking a tip or two from the surefooted waddle of a penguin.