Edmonton

Icy sidewalks lead to crack down as complaints, injuries rise

A higher number of complaints and a growing severity of injuries is forcing the city to crack down on home and business owners with icy sidewalks.

Reports of broken hips, broken arms, and a student who 'broke her back,' worries city

Senior Margo Bond uses a cane while navigating icy sidewalks and fears she will aggravate her previously-injured knee. (CBC)

A higher number of complaints and a growing severity of injuries is forcing the city to crack down on home and business owners with icy sidewalks.

"There are fairly significant injuries," says Troy Courtoreille with the city's complaints department.

"We were hearing reports of broken hips, broken arms," he said. "A student broke her back on the way to a bus stop."

In January last year the city had 3,400 complaints and issued more than six hundred tickets over untended sidewalks.

This January, the city believes there was at least 1,000 more complaints.

Bylaw officers will be out inspecting sidewalks more often this month and property owners will have only three days to remove the ice rather than the usual seven before getting a ticket, Courtoreille said.

That's good news to senior Margo Bond, 70, who uses a cane while navigating icy patches on the sidewalk.

She fears she will aggravate her previously-injured knee.

"I think it's time people realized they're putting other people's health at risk," she said. "A darn good fine is what they need."

Homeowner Bryan Kapitza said he did a good job of clearing his walk, but received a warning from the city anyways.

"We sought to overturn that warning, but there's no process that allows you to do that," he said.

"If the bylaw officer considers you to be guilty of this bylaw offence, that's it. There's nothing you can do."

Homeowner Bryan Kapitza said he does a good job of clearing his sidewalk, but received a warning from the city anyways. (CBC)

now