An accessibility lawyer says the municipality continues to drop the ball when it comes to clearing snow after major winter events.
“I do not know exactly what needs to change, but I only know how to do things,” said Brian George, who has been using a wheelchair and has been advocating for safer sidewalks in Halifax for the past seven years. “It is deplorable every year. It is. It happens every year. ”
Saturday’s Nor’easter brought more than 40 centimeters of snow to some parts of the province. The snow shifted to rain and ice grains later in the day, making it especially difficult to clear snow.
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Many residents have used social media over the past 48 hours to express their frustrations about the current condition of the sidewalks.
“It’s frustrating,” Halifax resident Steve MacKay said on the north side. “You can not expect perfection, but what we get is far from it. We can expect a little more. ”
In Cole Harbor, ice remains the biggest concern. Local resident Paige Hoveling says the sidewalks in her local community have not been properly cleaned, making her and her five-year-old son a smooth walk to school.
“What I would really appreciate is if they can look at some of the sidewalks around the school that all the kids use to get there and make sure they meet the standards that are right in front of the school,” Huilend said.
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But in Dartmouth, some of the sidewalks have not been cleaned at all. Local resident Barbara MacDonald kicked the sidewalk outside her home Monday, which has since turned into ice.
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“We used to have very good clearance here. “They came immediately earlier because it’s a big route to get to a hospital, but it just seems like the last few storms, it’s two or three days before our street is finished,” MacDonald said.
The Halifax Regional Municipality says, all things considered, snow clearing efforts are going well.
“Work is underway in all areas,” said Halifax Regional Municipality spokeswoman Klara Needler. “Teams will not stop until all areas have been addressed, so the municipality continues to ask the residents’ patience while teams continue to address all areas.”
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According to the city’s 2021-’22 budget, about $ 30 million has been allocated to this year’s snow cleaning operations. Klara Needler added that all internal and snow operations teams participate in mandatory accessibility training.
“They go around in wheelchairs in icy conditions to get a sense of things to look out for that they might not have thought of otherwise,” Needler said.
But George says they need to do more because the current condition of sidewalks is simply unsafe.
“Maybe Halifax should look at other areas and see what they’re doing and doing the same thing,” George says.
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