Sidewalk-sanding crews in Thunder Bay will be patrolling sidewalks looking for slippery areas as city temperatures are expected to stay below zero for a prolonged period.

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Puddles on this Thunder Bay sidewalk can become treacherous when the temperature drops below freezing. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)

This is welcome news for people like Brenda Stuart, who finds walking at this time of year is more challenging.

"It was soft and then, all of a sudden … the ice went really, really hard and I almost slid on my butt," she said, in recounting an incident this week.

"I got the stroller too, so if I fall, she goes with me … I think they should put a lot more salt on the sidewalks."

If she’s unsure about walking conditions on a particular sidewalk, Stuart said she'll often cross the street to avoid puddles and ice.

'They could slip and fall'

The manager of roads for the City of Thunder Bay said city crews are on the lookout for areas that could be unsafe for pedestrians.

"As the temperature drops — and I think over the next weekend, it's going to be dropping a bit — we'll be out more patrolling those sidewalks and looking for those icy sections and sanding them as required," Brad Adams said.

Crews also actively patrol for standing water on sidewalks that has turned to ice, he said.

Thunder Bay resident Shawn Ruddy said that’s a good thing. He said he worries about his mother and the daily walks she takes.

"My concern is … with the ice," he said. "[It's] usually mush during the day as it warms up, but … if somebody's out first thing in the morning, and they're not careful … they could slip and fall."

Ruddy said he has no complaints about city maintenance, and noted "they do the best they can."