Some Winnipeggers are calling on the city to plow sidewalks after a number of routes have become impassable, forcing people in wheelchairs to use the road and creating difficult routes for seniors.
The sidewalks on Kennedy Street haven’t been cleared, forcing many people who live in assisted-living apartments on the street to travel on the roadway.
Ernest Tavers, a paraplegic who lives on the street, said his wheelchair cannot navigate sidewalks that are packed with snow and filled with ruts.
Tavers has gotten stuck several times and was even thrown from his chair when he tried to go up a curb. Navigating the bumpy sidewalks is also hard on his back, he added.
"I got a back injury, spinal injury, so it's like a cheese grater once you hit those bumps. It's like going monster-trucking," he told CBC News on Wednesday.
Tavers has been forced to use the roadway rather than the sidewalk and wants city officials to plow the sidewalks as soon as possible.
The sidewalk conditions have prompted others, like Danielle Otto, to stay indoors because it's safer.
"I was stranded just the other day for about 10 minutes on my street until someone [came] and saved me," she said.
'You have to be careful'
Elsewhere in the city, St. James resident Jeff Craig says the sidewalk along Westwood Drive has been treacherous, and he worries that seniors walking in the area may slip and fall.
"You have to be careful. Every step, there's soft snow, ice, big, hard chunks that you can break your ankle on," he said Tuesday.
Craig said the last time he saw sidewalks being cleared in his neighbourhood was in the first or second week of December.
"They haven't been done since," he said.
"All of the road plows, of course, came through recently and they pushed all of the snow onto the sidewalk."
Part of the problem, said Craig, is that snowplows clearing streets are dumping too much snow along the curb, and that's pushing more snow onto sidewalks.
Concerns have also been raised about inconsistent snow clearing. In River Heights, sidewalks on Fleet Avenue have been plowed, but sidewalks on neighbouring streets are far from clear.
City officials admit the cold weather has posed challenges to clearing sidewalks, as it's taking longer to clear paths.
The snow is so packed, crews are using different, slower equipment, according to the city.
The sidewalks are expected to be cleared in about seven days.