Windsor

Snowy Windsor sidewalks a nightmare for people in wheelchairs

Windsor's service centre has received 300 complaints from residents about unsafe sidewalks since the snow hit the region in recent weeks.

Snowy Sidwalks

CBC News Windsor

5 years ago
0:42
Snowy Windsor sidewalks a nightmare for people in wheelchairs 0:42

Jamie Reaume says Windsor's snowy and icy sidewalks make getting around in a wheelchair nearly impossible at times.

Because of her cerebral palsy, Reaume has been in a wheelchair for most of her life. After the first two rounds of snowfall this year, she's been stuck on snowy sidewalks repeatedly.

Overall, the city has received 300 complaints from residents about unsafe sidewalks after the snow hit. 

"I had to drive on the road with my chair because I couldn't get down the sidewalk," Reaume said. "That was dangerous."

City bylaws put the responsibility of clearing sidewalks on residents, who are required to shovel their sidewalks within 12 hours of a snowfall.

Windsor chief engineer Mark Winterton urges residents to complain about sidewalks that are not shovelled after a snowfall. (Rima Hamadi/CBC)

The city's chief engineer Mark Winterton urges residents to file a complaint with the city's 311 service centre when sidewalks are not cleared.

"We'll send our bylaw enforcement officers out there to ensure there's compliance," he said.

Unsafe and inaccessible sidewalks aren't new to Reaume. Last year, she got stuck on a sidewalk. Two police officers driving by came out to help her.

"I can't go to work, I can't go to school. I want to do things, but I can't because I'm stuck in the house," she said.

There are even issues when taking public transit. Several times, she couldn't get off a bus at her stops because the snow prevented the driver from lowering the ramp.

"I can't get anywhere when it gets like this," she said of the snow.

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