Welcome Guest!
In order to take advantage of all the great features that Waterloo Region Connected has to offer, including participating in the lively discussions below, you're going to have to register. The good news is that it'll take less than a minute and you can get started enjoying Waterloo Region's best online community right away.
or Create an Account




Thread Rating:
  • 3 Vote(s) - 4.33 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Walking in Waterloo Region
(12-17-2016, 05:39 PM)creative Wrote: Should they also plow out the end of my driveway when it gets plowed in because that is also city property?

Yes. It’s way more efficient to have one guy go down the block with a vehicle-mounted snowblower immediately after the plow than it is for every driveway owner to do it later, possibly after the plow row has hardened into ice. There might need to be a separate driveway levy to pay for this, or it can just be considered part of the cost of clearing snow from the road. As a plus the same person can make sure that the plow rows don’t prevent pedestrians from crossing streets at intersections.
Reply


^ +1!!
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
Reply
(12-17-2016, 05:39 PM)creative Wrote: The vast majority of property owners are responsible and clear their sidewalks promptly. Yes I agree that there are some that are irresponsible but try looking at the greater city as a whole.

As danbrotherstan pointed out, the issue with our existing sidewalk policy is that all the good will and cheer of the residents and businesses that take care of their section of sidewalk does absolutely nothing for the one that doesn't. I can teeter through an unplowed section careful and get my feet soaked in snow, but still manage to get to the other side. Someone in a wheelchair or using a cane often can't. With one person not clearing the snow, the entire street might as well remain uncleared; it is impassable either way.
Reply
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The roads may be free of snow but the sidewalks and traffic crossings are not. This is how pedestrians die, Canada. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/topoli?src=hash">#topoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/snowto?src=hash">#snowto</a> <a href="https://t.co/kLwo09XgFZ">pic.twitter.com/kLwo09XgFZ</a></p>&mdash; Fatima Syed (@fatimabsyed) <a href="https://twitter.com/fatimabsyed/status/810218892958269440">December 17, 2016</a></blockquote>
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
Reply
For the record, the house on the corner of my neighbourhood (the one I must walk past to get to the bus stop) has not been cleared once. It has been reported multiple times. No movement yet. It's on a major road with no doubt, thousands of pedestrians a day.

Status quo a - oh - kay.

In other news, I just spent 21 dollars on ice melter. Money well spent it seems, reducing the number of complaints city staff will receive.
Reply
I have a few like that in my neighbourhood, that are chronically uncleared. It's a shame, because it has to be said that most of my neighbours are diligent in clearing their sidewalks. There are a few who let it accumulate to the point where a few very light snowfalls make it all but impassable if you're using anything wheeled.

When you're pushing a stroller, or using a mobility device, or just have less than perfect balance, one or two property owners failing to clear their snow can make the difference. I find that most do a great job in Kitchener, much better than in other cities I've lived in, and it's an unfortunate reality that, when it comes to sidewalk clearing, the negligence of a few can undermine the hard work of a great many.
Reply
This is true, and the point is, that such a system is inherently broken. It doesn't matter how well some homes are cleared if others are cleared poorly or not at all.

For some perspective, I just went for a walk around town, covering about 4.6 kms between Victoria St. and Allen St. I counted (and reported) 15 sidewalks that were entirely impassable for anyone not fully able such as myself. Most were quite inconvenient for me. And keep in mind, I am not counting sidewalks that were merely poorly cleared, or not up to city standards.

That's one uncleared property about every 300 meters or so.

Many of these sidewalks were on Park St., you know, an extremely busy through street with bus stops and no doubt, thousands of pedestrians.

Clearly, that's a broken system.
Reply
Yep, it is. If you have the time, please do report these properties which are not clearing the sidewalks. In the short term, we might have them cleared. In the long term, you might help convince the municipal government to implement a better system.
Reply
(12-18-2016, 09:48 PM)MidTowner Wrote: Yep, it is. If you have the time, please do report these properties which are not clearing the sidewalks. In the short term, we might have them cleared. In the long term, you might help convince the municipal government to implement a better system.

Oh, I definitely did.  CoK will rue the day they used complaints as justification to recommend against sidewalk plowing Tongue.  

Really though, I'm encouraging everyone to do this.  The vast majority of people are simply trapped by this and bylaw never hears from them.  So we must report all of these sidewalks to let their voices be heard.  Stepping over a small (or even gigantic) snow berm or trudging through snow is a relatively minor inconvenience that the vast majority of people ignore.  But it's an intolerable situation for others.  If the city is using complaints as a justification to continue that intolerable situation, lets take away that excuse.
Reply
(12-18-2016, 09:42 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: I counted (and reported) 15 sidewalks that were entirely impassable for anyone not fully able such as myself.   Most were quite inconvenient for me.  And keep in mind, I am not counting sidewalks that were merely poorly cleared, or not up to city standards.

Good on you. How long did making that many reports take you? Having never made a complaint before, but seriously thinking about becoming a regular if it will help change things, what is involved in the process? Do you have to leave your name? Does it take much time? What details do you need to provide?
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
Reply
(12-18-2016, 11:06 PM)Pheidippides Wrote:
(12-18-2016, 09:42 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: I counted (and reported) 15 sidewalks that were entirely impassable for anyone not fully able such as myself.   Most were quite inconvenient for me.  And keep in mind, I am not counting sidewalks that were merely poorly cleared, or not up to city standards.

Good on you. How long did making that many reports take you? Having never made a complaint before, but seriously thinking about becoming a regular if it will help change things, what is involved in the process? Do you have to leave your name? Does it take much time? What details do you need to provide?

That is unfortunately not the simplest question to answer.  First, you must know which city you're in.  If you're in Kitchener, their corporate contact center handles all snow clearing complaints. You can reach them at: 519-741-2345

Calling in reports is relatively quick, the contact centre is usually staffed sufficiently, so I've never waited more than 3-5 minutes on hold (or hang up and try later), and in fact, I usually get an answer right away. Just tell them you're reporting an uncleared sidewalk, they're familiar with the process. It's pretty quick to do.

They'll ask for the address, they make a big deal if you don't have an exact street address, but they will usually look it up for you, if you press them and give them a description of the location, but if you can give them the address, it's a lot easier. They'll also ask for your name, address, and phone number, and give you a spiel about how it'll be kept private, but it's still annoying that they won't take reports without it.

More information online at https://www.kitchener.ca/en/livinginkitc...Centre.asp

Waterloo is a bit simpler, but also less clear. There is a number given for sidewalk clearing as well as an email address: snowandice@waterloo.ca or 519-747-6280, and you can just call or email with the addresses. I presume that during business hours, you'd get someone answering the call, but I've only called off business hours, where you get a message machine, and they just ask for the address, that's it.

Of course, Waterloo has it's own complication where there's a different process if the sidewalk is a municipally maintained sidewalk, which you're of course, expected to know (but most sidewalks are not municipally maintained).

http://www.waterloo.ca/en/living/sidewalkclearing.asp

Really, calling in any individual complaint is pretty easy, less than a minute most of the time. The pain comes when you end up on hold, or when you have to call in 15 complaints in a row (although to their credit, both Kitchener and Waterloo's answering machine) allowed me to just give a list of addresses. Since I was out for a walk, I called them in as I was walking.

As for helping to change things. In the short term, city bylaw officers really do come inspect properties, and will *eventually* clear the snow, but it's like a 3-6 week process unless the homeowner does so sooner.

In the long term, it's hard to say for sure. But, Kitchener staff cited an increase to the number of complaints as a reason not to have city plows clear sidewalks (since they occasionally tear up grass, homeowners, the ones who are most likely to complain) tend to call in more complaints. So if they saw a huge flood of complaints, that really could invalidate this argument. Of course, the real people to lobby are city Councillors, but backing it up with a huge number of complaints would help.

I know TriTAG is also working on some kind of reporting option, which could provide additional data, and might be a fair bit easier to use.

But, for at least one year, I'm willing to regularly spend my time calling in complaints. We'll see what comes of it.
Reply
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">What efficiency!!! This is how snow is removed in Montreal, right in front of our university's dormitory. <a href="https://t.co/GMxFWKc76B">https://t.co/GMxFWKc76B</a></p>&mdash; Ilian Bonev (@ibonev) <a href="https://twitter.com/ibonev/status/810907543396614144">December 19, 2016</a></blockquote>

I guess having the city look after the sidewalks might come with its own set of problems. Smile
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
Reply
(12-19-2016, 05:58 PM)Canard Wrote: <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">What efficiency!!! This is how snow is removed in Montreal, right in front of our university's dormitory. <a href="https://t.co/GMxFWKc76B">https://t.co/GMxFWKc76B</a></p>&mdash; Ilian Bonev (@ibonev) <a href="https://twitter.com/ibonev/status/810907543396614144">December 19, 2016</a></blockquote>

I guess having the city look after the sidewalks might come with its own set of problems. Smile

I'm assuming this is a joking remark.  Of course there are problems, people's lawns get torn up from time to time.  That's the whole reason why staff suggested against doing it, there would actually be more complaints.

Of course, that's not a reason not to do it, a few lawns are not worth keeping the disaster we have now.

Also, that's a tracked sidewalk plow, the region uses trackless units.  Anyone know what the difference is?  I assume trackless units are more manueverable.

For the record, I walked home tonight, 2.43 kms, I passed (and reported) 14 uncleared sidewalks.  These are all on Belmont or Victoria, two very (and in the case of Victoria) extremely busy pedestrian roads.   That's one every 173 meters.

Most agregious example, a business which has cleared it's driveway and parking lot (including the part where cars cross the sidewalk) to bare concrete, it's walkway from the driveway to the front door to bare concrete, but has clearly never touched it's sidewalk since snow started to fall this year.

Yet, somehow this bug report got marked "working as intended".  Go figure.
Reply
I saw the same thing with the pharmacy (Rexall?) on Franklin at Bruce.
Reply
CoK just posted this study from the University of Waterloo on social media, government, and sidewalks:

http://rhea.uwaterloo.ca/smartsidewalks/
Reply
« Next Oldest | Next Newest »



Possibly Related Threads...
  Winter Walking and Cycling danbrotherston 482 58,062 12-12-2018, 09:04 PM
Last Post: danbrotherston

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 2 Guest(s)

About Waterloo Region Connected

Launched in August 2014, Waterloo Region Connected is an online community that brings together all the things that make Waterloo Region great. Waterloo Region Connected provides user-driven content fueled by a lively discussion forum covering topics like urban development, transportation projects, heritage issues, businesses and other issues of interest to those in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and the four Townships - North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich.

              User Links