Ok, I am done slamming the city for its part in this winter blunderland (for the moment). Now I turn my attention to a segment of business owners and homeowners in the city. I am appalled by the lack of proper snow and ice removal in parking lots and sidewalks on some commercial properties and on some residential sidewalks. While many of us are trying our best to keep up with the after effects of the string of disastrous weather events, many are not. They are not fulfilling their legal or moral obligations to make these areas safe for drivers and pedestrians. To get around in a vehicle, people have to drive very slowly and pray that their tires don’t hit an ice patch. To get around on foot, people have to tiptoe and be prepared to grab something nearby in case they start to fall.
How many people have been sent to emergency rooms, which as we know are already overcrowded, in recent weeks after falling on uncleared ice? How many people need casts, splints, tensor bandages, pain pills, physiotherapy or even surgery to recover from injuries sustained by slipping and falling on icy sidewalks or in icy parking lots? Yes, it is time-consuming and inconvenient to remove the dangerous ice, or cover it with sand or salt, but as a business or as a homeowner, that is your obligation. Start fulfilling it now.
Which brings me back to the City of Edmonton… There are bylaws in place to fine homeowners and businesses that do not clear the ice as they are required to do. I want to know why these bylaws have not been enforced. Is it because you are so embarrassed about your own snow and ice clearing efforts that you are too embarrassed to penalize others for the same offense? If so, it’s time to get over it. The people of this city deserve to be safe, and it is your job to ensure that safety happens. This is just another way you are failing us. Suck it up and send out the bylaw enforcement officers to do their jobs. Maybe those fines could help recoup some of the money for the “extra” snow removal this year!
And while I am on this rant about the winter blunderland we are all trapped in, here’s one final comment: to the people who park on ice-covered residential streets directly opposite one another when there is tons of empty space a meter or two further on, please stop. If someone’s tire slips on an ice patch while crawling between your car and another on the other side of the now narrow road, chances are your vehicle is going to get dinged!