Saskatchewan

Regina bylaw requiring people to clear sidewalks to be discussed Monday

A proposed bylaw which would require Regina residents to clear their sidewalks after a snowfall will be discussed at a city council meeting on Monday.

Currently homeowners are not required to clear residential sidewalks after snowfall

A motion for a proposed bylaw which would require residential sidewalks to be cleared after a snowfall mitigates an 'unnecessary threat' to pedestrians, according to a city council delegate. (CBC)

Snowy sidewalks are a hot issue for some Regina residents who say a bylaw requiring residents to clear sidewalks after a snowfall is needed in the city.

Several delegates have made their appeals to city hall asking that a bylaw proposed by two city councillors be approved and enforced.

"Yes, some residents will receive fines, and they will most certainly complain about it. But this type of bylaw is the most reliable and effective way to get people to do something they clearly don't want to do," wrote Wanda Schmockel.

Regina currently has no bylaw requiring that sidewalks in residential areas be cleared after a snowfall. Businesses are required to clear sidewalks within 48 hours of a snowfall. 

Some city residents do clear the sidewalks in front of their homes but it is not required, only encouraged.

"We don't dissuade people from parking their cars in unauthorized spots. We tell them not to park there. And if they park in such a spot anyway, they run the risk of getting a ticket," Schmockel continued.

"We don't gently cajole people to pay their taxes. We're required to pay them or else. These measures are taken for the common good."

Mobility issues

Delegate Shayna Stock, with the Heritage Community Association, wrote that snowy sidewalks are a problem in the Heritage neighbourhood. 

"Snow-covered and icy sidewalks pose an unnecessary threat to all pedestrians — especially those who rely on mobility aids to get around," Stock wrote.

According to a 2012-2013 survey, there are 257 kilometres of sidewalks in the city which are not cleared after a snowfall. The bylaw motion states that voluntary snow-clearing programs, like Snow Busters, have been unsuccessful.

The proposed bylaw would mandate that residential sidewalks be cleared within 24 to 48 hours. Bylaw officers would inspect properties and issue a warning, if needed.

Upon a follow up inspection, if the sidewalks are still not cleared, the city could bring in a private contractor to clean and then move the costs to the owner's property taxes.

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