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Walking in Waterloo Region
#31
(01-12-2015, 10:00 PM)mpd618 Wrote:
(01-12-2015, 10:06 AM)clasher Wrote: I can't even walk from Victoria Park to Sobeys on Highland because the city can't be arsed to plow the newly paved walking trails it installed along the creek. Good luck trying to get a bundle buggy full groceries or a stroller through the hard-packed snow where dozens of people are walking every day.

This path is explicitly not maintained in the winter. I agree with you that it ought to be.

I have to say that I've spent some time biking along the Laurel Creek Trail and Iron Horse Trail in the past few days and they have been passable; parts of Iron Horse are to bare pavement, others have a thin layer of snow (not ice).
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#32
Forget your snowblower and start shovelling, or face $300-plus bill in Kitchener

http://www.therecord.com/news-story/5337...kitchener/

In short: City is fining people who use snowblowers because it leaves 1 cm of snow above the concrete.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#33
I hate these articles from the Record (and local papers in many places I've read them) that try to paint a property owner as the victim of capricious bylaw enforcement. I could critique every quote by the property owners in that article, but will spare everyone. Suffice to say, I would imagine that they do not walk often.

A few years, the City of Kitchener issued one of these notices to me, and the "bare concrete" thing spooked me, too. It also made clear that it's to be down to bare concrete for the whole width of the sidewalk. I remember mine being one of the better sidewalks in the neighbourhood by far, but I dutifully went out to finish it to that standard. Later a neighbour of mine told me that we all received these notices, and that the bylaw department would only tell him that it was either because a number of complaints from our neighbourhood had been received; someone complained about the entire block; or someone actually did list every address on the block (or else a range).

I hate the idea that it's okay to do something poorly when many other people seem to, like that Jastrau individual suggests. For all she knows, someone had a close call on her sidewalk, or someone with a mobility issue had a particularly bad time traversing it. It might seem "good enough" to her, but for people who depend on getting around by foot (or have challenges), it may not be.
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#34
How can it be that clearing your sidewalk is such an issue? The city has standards, because if we left it to the general public, there would be a mish mash of compliance, from non-removal, or the creative six inch paths with four foot sidewalls that only Twiggy could wriggle through, to the good neighbour with the sidewalk you cold eat off. The problem with leaving a layer of snow on the walk is that continual freezing and refreezing creates ice. Be a good neighbour, shovel your sidewalk and let's get on to more important issues, like corporal punishment for dog owners who don't clean up after their little darlings.
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#35
This is not a pedestrians against owners issue. To illustrate this, consider the classical framing of cars versus bicycles, where the obvious solution is to have separated lanes so they are not fighting for the same stretch of the road. Every driver and cyclist who is complaining about the other should join tri-tag and demand separate bicycle lanes. Problem solved!
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#36
I don't understand your analogy, BuildingScout. Of course it's not "pedestrians against property owners." I'm a property owner, and I also walk. Anyway, you just gave us a solution to a different problem. The solution to the problem of so many of our sidewalks being impassable is for property owners to shovel their sidewalks (and, as schooner77 points out, to some objective standards, not their own whims about what might be good enough).

Another solution would be for the municipal government to clear sidewalks. But, until they do, everyone should just get out and clear the way past their house.
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#37
Sidewalks that are clear to the concrete can be dangerous too after the freeze-thaw cycles create black ice. I've slipped a number of times on otherwise clear patches of sidewalk due to this.
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#38
(02-13-2015, 02:47 PM)MidTowner Wrote: Another solution would be for the municipal government to clear sidewalks.

Bingo! It is unreasonable to expect homeowners to stand at the ready cleaning the sidewalks to the concrete, and it is unreasonable to expect pedestrians to wait 24 hours for the sidewalk to be plowed. This is an area of municipal responsibility which they are eschewing. Put the blame where it belongs.


Quote:But, until they do, everyone should just get out and clear the way past their house.

And no, people have no obligation to follow unreasonable regulations which is why everybody drives 120km/h or faster in the 401. It's the duty of governments to realize their regulations are flawed when they clearly are and withdraw them (as they have de facto done in the 401).
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#39
Guelph plows and sands the sidewalks. London plows the sidewalks too... Elliot Lake even does it and there's a significant portion of the population there that can't really walk very far anymore. People in Guelph complain that the sidewalk plows tear up their precious lawn edges and thus they should stop it.

The city already plows a lot of sidewalks and trails; the sidewalk all along Fischer-Hallman from Highland up to Glasgow since there aren't really any houses facing it. I think it's pretty lame for the city to be fining people over stuff like this when there are lots of places the city plows that aren't up to the same standard.

I think there should be a by-law fine for frivolous and vindictive reporting but I'm sure that'll just create even more problems rather than solve any.
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#40
I think it is unreasonable to expect the city to plow all sidewalks. With the sprawling suburban neighbourhoods there are many many km of sidewalks. The city already does a poor job clearing the roads in these areas how can we expect perfectly cleared sidewalks in these areas. Many side streets in Kitchener won't even be plowed until they have 10cm of snow on them in a 24 hr period. Most are left with snow pack on them.

Its likely a lot easier for the home owners to shovel to get clear pavement rather than have sidewalk plows attempt it. I have yet to see a sidewalk on a main road cleared by a sidewalk plow down to the pavement. Once the snow is packed or the sidewalk is uneven they cannot do their job properly. At this point the only way that the sidewalk can be cleared is to apply salt, this is not good for our groundwater.

Perhaps as we continue to increase density it would make more sense to plow all sidewalks from a usage and cost point of view. It may be a decent interim item to ensure that at least bus stops are plowed and the sidewalks on the collector roads to these bus stops are plowed too, these could be done quickly enough to not get packed down so that the sidewalk plow can actually clear down to the pavement.
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#41
(02-13-2015, 07:31 PM)neonjoe Wrote: I think it is unreasonable to expect the city to plow all sidewalks. With the sprawling suburban neighbourhoods there are many many km of sidewalks. The city already does a poor job clearing the roads in these areas how can we expect perfectly cleared sidewalks in these areas.

Many other cities manage to do it, including London, Guelph and Toronto. So I don't see why it is unreasonable. Second, however difficult it might be for a snowplow to do it, it pales in comparison to the manual effort required by homeowners.
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#42
(02-13-2015, 05:11 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: [quote pid='5015' dateline='1423856871']
And no, people have no obligation to follow unreasonable regulations which is why everybody drives 120km/h or faster in the 401. It's the duty of governments to realize their regulations are flawed when they clearly are and withdraw them (as they have de facto done in the 401).

[/quote]

This is batty: of course you can not pick and choose which rules you follow. I am personally of the opinion that the municipal government should be maintaining boulevards on streets that have more activity (vehicular and human). I have a few reasons for this belief. But at least some of my neighbours would be up in arms if I stopped mowing the grass there, and the City would guaranteed fine me. This is mostly for reasons of aesthetics, but I'm not claiming that I get to change the rule in front of my own property just because I disagree with someone else.

Keeping a clear sidewalk is a matter of safety. It isn't civil disobedience to let the sidewalk in front of your house stay snow-covered or icy: it's sloth and selfishness.
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#43
Is there actually a bylaw that says one must cut one's grass?
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#44
Sorry to derail the walking thread with my analogy, but to answer the question: yes, property standards include making sure that grass (or weeds, as the case may be) is mowed. I think the maximum height is eight inches. I would venture to guess that this is much more heavily-enforced than the sidewalk-clearing bylaw.
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#45
Should be in cm, Canada is metric. If it's actually called out in imperial, I'll be marching to city hall to protest!
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