While most of the snow around Metro Vancouver has now melted, people with mobility aids are already dreading the next winter storm — and calling for accountability over uncleared walkways.
Following a heavy bout of rain, Langley, B.C., resident Patricia White can now get around freely, her powered chair finally unobstructed by snow.
But just days ago, the situation was much different for White, who found herself forced to ride in the middle of the road due to snow-covered sidewalks.
“It gets scary, absolutely,” she told Global News.
“Sometimes drivers cannot control what happens in these conditions.”
Amid the snowy conditions, White said she was unable to even access the bus, and is calling on the city to do more to help people with mobility challenges. She also wants to see residents make more of an effort to clear their walks.
“Any mobility device needs to be able to get through, and if we don’t have that room or expansion on the sidewalks, it’s really tough for us,” she said.
White took her concerns directly to City of Langley Mayor Nathan Pachal, who acknowledged there are areas that could be improved.
City staff are currently working on a report he hopes will address some of the issues, he said.
“People with disabilities just simply aren’t able to go to the doctor or get groceries or visit their friends, so it is a real barrier, and it is something we need to address.
City staff are due to submit that report to council on Jan. 16.
Meanwhile, White is just relieved to have her freedom back, hoping for more awareness about the difficulties people with mobility challenges face.
“That’s all it is, just educating and not pointing the figure at anybody,” she said.