Metro Vancouver has had a few “snow events” recently which have thwarted active transportation and transit users. It is very true that these events have been less frequent in recent years. It is also true that people are also walking and cycling more in all kinds of weather. Global News reported that icy walkways along the False Creek Seawall were still not salted by the 27th and were causing pedestrian slipping and sliding. If you were wondering, commercial businesses and home owners are responsible for shovelling out their respective sidewalks. But public walkways and the sidewalk noted below? It’s the municipalities’ responsibility.
In Delta, 52nd Street which is the street that is not only a walking loop but also directly connects the Tsawwassen Mills mega mall with the rest of Tsawwassen has one sidewalk going down a very steep slope. While the road was salted and sanded, pedestrians were left to grapple for themselves down the icy sidewalk surface last weekend. This is the street that the Mayor of Delta wants a pedestrian overpass over Highway 17 -if the pedestrians can make it down the frozen incline with no salting by the Corporation.
In Metro Vancouver where we are supportive of all season active transportation and so hoping that those not driving with snow tires will keep their vehicles off the winter road, we should be ensuring that the walking and cycling paths are salted and safe for citizens. It’s quite simply the right thing to do. Sure citizens should shovel out the sidewalks in front of their houses as a courtesy-but municipal salting of heavily used sidewalks and icy public walkways is necessary for safety and comfort too.