Snow removal needs improvement, accessibility advocate says

A group that watches the accessibility of municipal buildings in Thunder Bay is expressing concerns about snow removal, and wants to make city council aware of the problem.
Those with disabilities say plowed-in transit stops make it nearly impossible to get from bus stops onto buses. Transit quickly dealt with the issue when it was brought to their attention. (Supplied)

A group that watches the accessibility of municipal buildings in Thunder Bay is expressing concerns about snow removal, and wants to make city council aware of the problem.

Tessa Soderberg, chair of the Accessibility Advisory Committee, said city hall needs to ensure snow is removed, so those with disabilities can manoeuvre from parking spaces and bus stops to municipal buildings.

She noted transit has improved its clearing of bus stops.
Thunder Bay resident Tessa Soderberg says city hall needs to ensure snow is removed, so those with disabilities can manoeuvre from parking spaces and bus stops to municipal buildings. (Supplied)

"Well, I think transit is making a dedicated effort toward getting their bus stops cleared.”

But other areas need work.

"Bringing it to the attention of [the] roads [department], bringing it to the attention of transit, definitely makes a difference, definitely makes them more aware,” she said.

Snowclearing around community centres has been a problem, but Soderberg says she understands the city can't immediately clear every parking lot and entrance.

But, she added that, when walkways are properly maintained, what is good for the disabled is good for everybody.

Many people with disabilities have complained about difficulty getting through parking lots and into public buildings, Soderberg added.

"We are finding that, as some locations are becoming more popular, more public events are being held at them [and] more attention needs to be paid to clearing of parking areas."

A cleared sidewalk is blocked by another snowplow travelling by the intersection of Arthur and Norah. The snow bank makes this route impassible for wheelchair users, or anybody with balance issues. (Tessa Soderberg)

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