Windsor

Windsor resident petitioning city to clear snow from sidewalks

A Windsor resident living with cerebral palsy has an ongoing petition with the aim of convincing the City — and residents — to better maintain barrier-free sidewalks. 

Essential for individuals with accessibility needs, elderly residents, people with strollers, says Sarah Jones

Windsor resident Sarah Jones lives with cerebral palsy and relies on a wheelchair for mobility. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

A Windsor resident living with cerebral palsy has an ongoing petition with the aim of convincing the city — and residents — to maintain barrier-free sidewalks. 

Sarah Jones said she launched her petition in December, explaining that her goal isn't just to make sidewalks safer for individuals living with accessibility needs. 

"It's also for elderly and people with young children in strollers," she said. "When the winter comes, Windsor tends to get inaccessible for them, and people tend to not be able to get around."

Jones's Change.org petition currently has almost 430 signatures, with an overall goal of 500. 

City 'working away' at snow removal

According to Dwane Dawson, executive director of the City of Windsor's public works department, main roads and all residential roads have been cleared of snow and salted. 

"We're working away at areas that were inaccessible during the plowing event," he said. 

Dwayne Dawson is the executive director of the City of Windsor's public works department. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Dawson also estimated on Monday that it would take at least another 12 hours before the city would be able to clear all snow. 

He added that snow in some areas has turned into ice, making it harder for city workers to ensure resident safety. 

"It's a pretty slow process not to get those areas chipped away and accessible, so that people that have mobility issues can access the bus stops," Dawson said. 

Downtown BIA clearing sidewalks

In Windsor, property owners are responsible for clearing snow along curbs. Additionally, business owners are responsible for clearing snow in front of their storefronts. 

Brian Yeomans, chair of the Downtown Windsor BIA, said his organization has undertaken sidewalk clearing as a means of making sidewalks more accessible for "our members, for our visitors, for our clients."

Downtown Windsor BIA chair Brian Yeomans says his organization budgeted approximately $20,000 to hire a contractor to clear sidewalks. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Yeomans said the BIA decided to hire a company to clear sidewalks after a major snowstorm that struck southwestern Ontario in November 2019. 

The Downtown Windsor BIA budgeted $20,000 for the 2020 winter season. 

With files from Dale Molnar

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