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Walking in Waterloo Region
#46
There is also a bylaw regarding noxious weeds.
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#47
(02-16-2015, 03:59 PM)Canard Wrote: Should be in cm, Canada is metric. If it's actually called out in imperial, I'll be marching to city hall to protest!

You must be right, I was going by memory (and, though Canada is metric, most Canadians aren't fully). I'm sure it's defined in centimetres.

Anyway, it was just an example. My point was that we have many, many bylaws, many of which many people likely find ridiculous. We don't get to pick and choose which we follow. The neighbourly thing to do is to clear the sidewalk in front of your house whether you think someone else should do it for you. To boot, it's a legal requirement.
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#48
(02-13-2015, 01:05 PM)Canard Wrote: 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.


The article includes this explanation:

Quote:Kitchener says the standard is straightforward: "Clear of ice and snow" means down to the pavement. "We do appreciate that it's a challenge, but it's the only standard we can go with," said Shayne Turner, Kitchener's director of bylaw enforcement.

"It's one thing for me to be able to walk on packed snow, but someone in a wheelchair can't get down the sidewalk if there's snow."

All very reasonable. But here's the rub. The Kitchener part of the Iron Horse Trail is owned and maintained by the city of Kitchener. That includes the responsibility to clear snow in the winter, presumably to at least the same standards the city expects from ratepayers. 

Yet here we are, days since the last significant snow fall, and large sections of the IHT are still covered with hard-packed snow. Other sections have now turned into ice, which is even more dangerous. 

Where are Mr Turner and his diligent bylaw police?

(Same comment applies to Waterloo, assuming their bylaw and their enforcement thereof are at a similarly high standard.) 
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#49
(02-13-2015, 03:26 PM)timio Wrote: 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.

[SARCASM (directed at the city and their sanctimonious bylaw enforcement department)]
What we need is yet another bylaw, this one to require salting and sanding of affected areas. Surely that will address such concerns  Tongue
[/SARCASM]
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#50
http://www.therecord.com/opinion-story/5...oo-region/
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#51
(02-17-2015, 05:40 PM)Canard Wrote: http://www.therecord.com/opinion-story/5...oo-region/

Yes. I filled in the TriTAG form, writing (a customized note) to my councillor (uptown), Waterloo mayor, and regional councillors/chair. I got a response from all but Sean Strickland so far. I'm satisfied by their responsiveness. They were all generally in favour, but it comes down to cost. Mayor Jaworsky mentioned the existence of a study with a higher projected cost than in the op-ed.
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#52
(02-17-2015, 09:46 PM)plam Wrote: I filled in the TriTAG form
? Link, please.

Quote:writing (a customized note) to my councillor (uptown), Waterloo mayor, and regional councillors/chair. I got a response from all but Sean Strickland so far. I'm satisfied by their responsiveness. They were all generally in favour, but it comes down to cost. Mayor Jaworsky mentioned the existence of a study with a higher projected cost than in the op-ed.
It's important that the city provide some realistic numbers, specifically how much per year this would raise our property tax bill. That's the only way the electorate can make an informed decision on this issue. Otherwise the only output from all these deliberations will be hot air. And unfortunately it won't even be directed at melting snow.

P.S. Other costs the Record's piece omitted are (1) private snow removal services hired by responsible people who can't personally clear their sidewalks, e.g. the doctor, salesperson, etc. cited in the article but also snowbirds, vacationers, etc. who leave the region during part or all of winter and (2) the value of the time devoted by volunteers who clear sidewalks for those people who are physically unable to do so on their own.
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#53
If you're curious about private snow removal, I know from experience that it will run a little over $200 to hire a service to clear snow from 40' of sidewalk near downtown Kitchener. That service will not always meet municipal standards- services seem to only clear snow after a certain amount of accumulation (two or three centimetres seems common), so if there is trace snow several times in a week, it might not trigger a visit by the service, and the sidewalk would not meet the municipality's standards. The upshot of this is that, for a homeowner who is on vacation or otherwise dependent on a private service, it would be difficult to be confident that the bylaw is being satisfied.

I'm with you that the municipal government needs to provide a concrete number (the cost to each property tax payer would be ideal) so that the decision taken can be informed. I can think of a few groups of people who would oppose this at even a nominal cost, so being able to confidently state that it will cost "only x dollars" will be important.
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#54
(02-18-2015, 08:35 AM)ookpik Wrote:
(02-17-2015, 09:46 PM)plam Wrote: I filled in the TriTAG form
? Link, please.

It's just a standard auto-mail-your-representatives page: http://contact.tritag.ca/sidewalks/
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#55
(02-17-2015, 09:46 PM)plam Wrote: Mayor Jaworsky mentioned the existence of a study with a higher projected cost than in the op-ed.

I remember that study about a year or two ago. It was followed up by several municipalities saying "WTF? our costs are nowhere that high".

Frankly who has more credibility,a paper pusher coming up with a figure or the many communitites which already run this program.
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#56
Woolwich clears Elmira's sidewalks.

Or, be like East Hants, Nova Scotia and close the sidewalks.
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#57
(02-18-2015, 09:36 AM)MidTowner Wrote: If you're curious about private snow removal, I know from experience that it will run a little over $200 to hire a service to clear snow from 40' of sidewalk near downtown Kitchener...
Thanks for the number but note that that's an upper bound. The snow removal service has to make a trip to your 40' section. That takes time, labour, gasoline, etc. It's probably much more costly to the service than the cost of spending 10 seconds to clear your sidewalk. It should be a lot cheaper if the city sends out plows to do everyone's sidewalks. My guess would be that a blanket clearing of all sidewalks would cost 10% or 20% of that.

I'm hoping that if this was properly costed out and meant a $50 or so increase in taxes that the vast majority of people would be willing to pay for the convenience as well as for the indemnity of ever facing a bylaw infraction and fine for this. Yes, there will be people on low income who will still find this amount to be onerous. And yes, there will be people (if I can call them that) who use silly logic like, "I don't use the sidewalks. Why should I clear them?" or "I live on a street where's there's no sidewalk on my side so why should I pay?", etc.

(02-18-2015, 10:11 AM)plam Wrote:
(02-18-2015, 08:35 AM)ookpik Wrote: ? Link, please.
It's just a standard auto-mail-your-representatives page: http://contact.tritag.ca/sidewalks/
Thanks. I'll fill it out and submit.
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#58
(02-18-2015, 01:04 PM)ookpik Wrote:
(02-18-2015, 09:36 AM)MidTowner Wrote: If you're curious about private snow removal, I know from experience that it will run a little over $200 to hire a service to clear snow from 40' of sidewalk near downtown Kitchener...
Thanks for the number but note that that's an upper bound. The snow removal service has to make a trip to your 40' section. That takes time, labour, gasoline, etc. It's probably much more costly to the service than the cost of spending 10 seconds to clear your sidewalk. It should be a lot cheaper if the city sends out plows to do everyone's sidewalks. My guess would be that a blanket clearing of all sidewalks would cost 10% or 20% of that.

I'm hoping that if this was properly costed out and meant a $50 or so increase in taxes that the vast majority of people would be willing to pay for the convenience as well as for the indemnity of ever facing a bylaw infraction and fine for this. Yes, there will be people on low income who will still find this amount to be onerous. And yes, there will be people (if I can call them that) who use silly logic like, "I don't use the sidewalks. Why should I clear them?" or "I live on a street where's there's no sidewalk on my side so why should I pay?", etc.


(02-18-2015, 10:11 AM)plam Wrote: It's just a standard auto-mail-your-representatives page: http://contact.tritag.ca/sidewalks/
Thanks. I'll fill it out and submit.

+1. I should certainly hope that people would agree to a $50 increase in taxes because 1) it's the right thing to do and 2) it reduces their own personal costs and liability for snow removal, as well as increasing their freedom. I explicitly mentioned in my note that we have no sidewalk outside my place on our side of the street, and yet I would still support it.
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#59
(02-18-2015, 01:04 PM)ookpik Wrote: Thanks for the number but note that that's an upper bound. The snow removal service has to make a trip to your 40' section. That takes time, labour, gasoline, etc. It's probably much more costly to the service than the cost of spending 10 seconds to clear your sidewalk. It should be a lot cheaper if the city sends out plows to do everyone's sidewalks. My guess would be that a blanket clearing of all sidewalks would cost 10% or 20% of that.

You asked about costs that (some) property owners are currently paying for private service, because that is a part of the cost of the current system that the Record op-ed missed. I wasn't trying to insinuate that public costs would be similar to this- I was saying that this would be the savings that some property owners would experience if the work were taken on by the municipal government. It's clear that the municipality would have all kinds of efficiency advantages over private companies that might have only a handful of contracts in any given neighbourhood.
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#60
(02-18-2015, 01:04 PM)ookpik Wrote: I'm hoping that if this was properly costed out and meant a $50 or so increase in taxes that the vast majority of people would be willing to pay for the convenience as well as for the indemnity of ever facing a bylaw infraction and fine for this. Yes, there will be people on low income who will still find this amount to be onerous. And yes, there will be people (if I can call them that) who use silly logic like, "I don't use the sidewalks. Why should I clear them?" or "I live on a street where's there's no sidewalk on my side so why should I pay?", etc.

I can only assume that, the more accurate and specific the estimated tax impact is, the fewer people would feel inclined to oppose the idea. There are always people who will be against anything and everything for their own idea of logic. I would imagine they would be few, provided there's confidence in the cost estimate.
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