Manitoba

City advised to spend nearly $1M more next year to improve sidewalk, bike route snow-clearing

Winnipeg should spend just under a million dollars more next year on snow-clearing to improve conditions on sidewalks and bike trails and make intersections more navigable for people who use wheelchairs or have visual impairments, a city report says.

Snow-clearing report also says intersections must be easier to navigate for people who use wheelchairs

Winnipeg must do a better job of clearing snow from intersections to allow pedestrians access to sidewalks, a report to council says. (Travis Golby/CBC)

Winnipeg has been advised to spend just under a million dollars more next year on snow-clearing to improve conditions on sidewalks and bike trails and make intersections more navigable for people who use wheelchairs or have visual impairments.

A long-awaited report into the clearing of snow from the city's active-transportation network recommends $933,000 in additional spending in 2019 to ensure higher-priority pedestrian and cycling routes are better connected after snowfalls.

That figure includes $98,000 in one-time spending on equipment and $834,000 every year, plus inflation, to clear snow more effectively from heavily used sidewalks and bike routes.

Winter snow-clearing on this network has been challenging, Winnipeg street-maintenance manager Cheryl Anderson wrote in the report, which comes before council's public works committee on May 1. 

"Citizens find many of these new active transportation routes disconnected or not maintained," she wrote, adding routes that are priorities for people on foot or on bikes may not be the same as the priority roads used by cars and buses.​

Anderson also said the city must do more to help people who are visually impaired or use wheelchairs.

"More attention needs to be addressed when clearing sidewalks at intersections, timing the plowing [and] salting operations, with followup sidewalk and pathway clearing and care and maintenance," she said.

To make this happen, the public works department has drawn up a new list of high- and medium-priority routes for snow-clearing.

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