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Walking in Waterloo Region
(12-16-2017, 08:12 PM)KevinL Wrote: Are you saying every citizen of the city should be expected to have the means to purchase such footwear, or the foreknowledge to realize their necessity? That's asking quite a bit.

I think what they're getting at is... if it's cold outside, you put a coat on.  If you don't, it's your own damn fault you're cold.

It's a bit extreme to think you need to buy cleated football shoes to go for a stroll, but... you should be mindful and aware of your surroundings.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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(12-16-2017, 08:39 PM)Canard Wrote:
(12-16-2017, 08:12 PM)KevinL Wrote: Are you saying every citizen of the city should be expected to have the means to purchase such footwear, or the foreknowledge to realize their necessity? That's asking quite a bit.

I think what they're getting at is... if it's cold outside, you put a coat on.  If you don't, it's your own damn fault you're cold.

It's a bit extreme to think you need to buy cleated football shoes to go for a stroll, but... you should be mindful and aware of your surroundings.

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. I should emphasize that I think sidewalks should be cleared to a reasonable standard. But I am saying that suing after a slip-and-fall is unreasonable.

Anyway, I think the bigger social problem (as opposed to legal liability) is with large amounts of snow, not very thin but slippery bits of ice. There is no convenient footwear to deal with large amounts of snow (snowshoes are neither convenient, nor do they make walking as easy as on solid ground), but there is footwear to eliminate the problems associated with thin ice. This is even more so if we assume the ice is in patches, as will typically be the case when reasonable snow clearing measures are taken.
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(12-16-2017, 08:12 PM)KevinL Wrote: Are you saying every citizen of the city should be expected to have the means to purchase such footwear, or the foreknowledge to realize their necessity? That's asking quite a bit.

I was going to reply only to the reply, but then I thought a bit about “foreknowledge”.

Really? You’re suggesting people can’t be expected to know what the climate is like here? And if they don’t, they get to sue the city for their ignorance?

As to “means”, they aren’t very expensive, really. Less than a good winter coat.

http://www.leevalley.com/en/Garden/page....51676&ap=1
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For someone on a fixed income $60 can be a lot.

Plus, much like the studded tires over in the cycling thread, those types of ice gripping attachments only work well on ice; really well in fact. We use to do running workouts on the canal in Ottawa during the winter sometimes with them when the trails were snow packed, but they actually have the opposite effect on clear concrete - you skate and slide over the place. Having those on your feet and a patchwork of cleared and uncleared sidewalks would mean taking them on and off as you travel - imagine switching tire types as you drove; hardly an equitable situation.

I think the analogy here would be be snow tires. Even if they are a bit expensive, and not everyone can afford them, even now that there is a financial incentive in the form of insurance discount to have them, but they aren't required to get around because in most cases all season tires work BECAUSE the cities made an effort to keep the roads clear. The key is that an effort was made.

With sidewalks the cities aren't even pretending to make an honest effort, so it seems weird to require some special equipment to go down their street.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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(12-16-2017, 09:59 PM)Pheidippides Wrote: For someone on a fixed income $60 can be a lot.

Plus, much like the studded tires over in the cycling thread, those types of ice gripping attachments only work well on ice; really well in fact. We use to do running workouts on the canal in Ottawa during the winter sometimes with them when the trails were snow packed, but they actually have the opposite effect on clear concrete - you skate and slide over the place. Having those on your feet and a patchwork of cleared and uncleared sidewalks would mean taking them on and off as you travel - imagine switching tire types as you drove; hardly an equitable situation.

I think the analogy here would be be snow tires. Even if they are a bit expensive, and not everyone can afford them, even now that there is a financial incentive in the form of insurance discount to have them, but they aren't required to get around because in most cases all season tires work BECAUSE the cities made an effort to keep the roads clear. The key is that an effort was made.

With sidewalks the cities aren't even pretending to make an honest effort, so it seems weird to require some special equipment to go down their street.

OK, I’ll admit to lack of knowledge of the specific instances in which cities pay out slip-and-fall settlements. But it actually seems “obvious” (could be wrong) that an area that has been cleared of snow would be more likely to have the occasional patch of slippery ice. If it isn’t clear at all, or very poorly, it will tend to have a mess of snow that, while terrible to walk on, doesn’t actually lead to much slipping and sliding, if only because there is too much snow for your foot to move much at all. If we plow however then the mass of snow is removed, leaving little bits here and there which can turn into ice.

Is there any feasible snow-clearing regime that leaves the city free of liability? If not then I think there is a problem with the liability system. You end up with the situation that many things are effectively illegal because of liability issues. The liability system isn’t good at recognizing that some activities have some inherent risk that it is not feasible or reasonable to eliminate. Just because somebody could have done something to avoid a specific instance doesn’t mean they could actually have eliminated all of it. Obviously, any specific patch of ice could be eliminated by any of a number of means. But how do you eliminate all ice everywhere that it could be a problem?

Maybe I’m wrong and a reasonable city effort to clear snow from all sidewalks would eliminate the legal liability. If so, then that is yet another reason for the city to do that. Rather than wasting money on settlements, spend it on clearing snow.

Re: the cost, don’t forget that those on fixed incomes are (indirectly) paying those settlements too. Besides, I’m not suggesting people should be required to buy those items, any more than I am suggesting that they should be required to buy a high-quality winter coat. The point is that they need to make their own choice and not blame others for their choice.
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My bet is that if the city thinks it has a good chance of losing a lawsuit, it would offer a settlement. I'd guess that the lawsuit would hinge on what a reasonable person could expect. I don't think a reasonable person should wear mini-crampons in town. But court cases can be a bit random so sometimes cities will offer settlements to avoid the possibility of losing.
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Regardless of what your opinion is on ploughing or any other City issue be sure to let the City of Kitchener know your thoughts.

Budget survey open until January 5, 2018.


As always some very ill-informed comment section with much confusion over what is a Regional service vs. what is a City service vs. what is a provincial service:
-"way to much money has been spent on the lrt."
-"hospitals deserve more money"
-"I have never talked to anyone who was for the LRT.The study showed the best option for us was improved Busses.Carl Zehr legacy?"
-"The iOn has been a huge waste of money and they haven't managed to complete any of their proposed deadlines. Why is the city allowing them to waste taxpayer dollars month after month?"
-"GRT investment not as good as it should be"
-"Transit is overpriced."
-"I live next near Schneider Haus and am frustrated that the city mismanaged and left 2 properties vacant for years only to now determine them fit for demolition."
-" I would also like to see the city pick up our garbage"
-"We lost our front lawn to drought a few years ago due to watering bans"
-"Too much emphasis on bike lanes and not enough on traffic flow."
-"Let the LRT pay for itself."



Some privilaged comments as well:
-"winter road clearing could be better"
-"Too much emphasis on bike lanes and not enough on traffic flow."
-"The new subdivisions are hideously overcrowded."
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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Unhappy people always speak the loudest ...
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(12-17-2017, 10:07 PM)tomh009 Wrote: Unhappy people always speak the loudest ...

Unhappy people are rarely aware of what would make them happy ...
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(12-17-2017, 09:16 AM)ijmorlan Wrote: [quote pid='46390' dateline='1513479592']

Maybe I’m wrong and a reasonable city effort to clear snow from all sidewalks would eliminate the legal liability. If so, then that is yet another reason for the city to do that. Rather than wasting money on settlements, spend it on clearing snow.

[/quote]

Respectfully, you are wrong, and plam is a lot closer to the mark when he talks about "reasonability" tests being applied. If a person slips on a sidewalk, it's not black and white who is at fault, and likely a portion of the liability rests with both the person and the municipalities (and maybe others, who knows).

There are cases (I'm thinking of one in particular involving an aged woman in Hamilton) where someone trips on a crack in a sidewalk, the City is held liable, and people are up in arms because everyone should just watch where they're going. In the case I'm thinking of, the City was aware of the unlevel pavement, and didn't even follow its own insufficient policies. Even with that, the City was not 100% at fault, and the woman's behaviour was a contributing factor.

It's not helpful to say that "suing after a slip-and-fall is unreasonable." A person should be able to have some expectations about the infrastructure in his or her city. When that's not met, of course pursuing legal action should be an option.
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(12-19-2017, 07:59 AM)MidTowner Wrote:
(12-17-2017, 09:16 AM)ijmorlan Wrote: [quote pid='46390' dateline='1513479592']

Maybe I’m wrong and a reasonable city effort to clear snow from all sidewalks would eliminate the legal liability. If so, then that is yet another reason for the city to do that. Rather than wasting money on settlements, spend it on clearing snow.

Respectfully, you are wrong, and plam is a lot closer to the mark when he talks about "reasonability" tests being applied. If a person slips on a sidewalk, it's not black and white who is at fault, and likely a portion of the liability rests with both the person and the municipalities (and maybe others, who knows).

There are cases (I'm thinking of one in particular involving an aged woman in Hamilton) where someone trips on a crack in a sidewalk, the City is held liable, and people are up in arms because everyone should just watch where they're going. In the case I'm thinking of, the City was aware of the unlevel pavement, and didn't even follow its own insufficient policies. Even with that, the City was not 100% at fault, and the woman's behaviour was a contributing factor.

It's not helpful to say that "suing after a slip-and-fall is unreasonable." A person should be able to have some expectations about the infrastructure in his or her city. When that's not met, of course pursuing legal action should be an option.
[/quote]

Thanks for that. It sounds like things might be more reasonable than I fear. I still wonder if the de facto laws that the city has to follow in order to not be liable are infeasible to follow. I worry that judges impose a “should have” standard that implies a requirement for an impossibly expensive effort. But if it’s situational, it might not be as bad as I think. As with many issues that arise in the news, I am often frustrated by a lack of basic facts that I (unlike some people) need in order to form a firm opinion.
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Here is an article that explains a bit about when municipalities in Ontario are in practice found liable. It includes some scenarios from a case in Cambridge.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/n...-1.3108350 about the case I was thinking of about the damaged sidewalk in Hamilton. I think the details are interesting. The victim's negligence was found to contribute to the incident, but the case rested on the fact that the City did not take every reasonable effort to maintain the sidewalk, and did not follow its own policies.

Sorry, I know that's not about snow, but it came to mind as illustrative of how these cases are actually decided. The actual rulings can be interesting- they are highly situational, and victims are asked questions about how often they traverse a specific stretch of sidewalk, how aware they were of their surroundings and conditions that day, whether they may have been distracted, in addition to questions about City policies and how well they were adhered to.
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(12-19-2017, 09:11 AM)MidTowner Wrote: Here is an article that explains a bit about when municipalities in Ontario are in practice found liable. It includes some scenarios from a case in Cambridge.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/n...-1.3108350 about the case I was thinking of about the damaged sidewalk in Hamilton. I think the details are interesting. The victim's negligence was found to contribute to the incident, but the case rested on the fact that the City did not take every reasonable effort to maintain the sidewalk, and did not follow its own policies.

Sorry, I know that's not about snow, but it came to mind as illustrative of how these cases are actually decided. The actual rulings can be interesting- they are highly situational, and victims are asked questions about how often they traverse a specific stretch of sidewalk, how aware they were of their surroundings and conditions that day, whether they may have been distracted, in addition to questions about City policies and how well they were adhered to.

What bugs me about this, is that it seems to require a specific harmful event (someone falling).  The thousands of people who simply cannot leave their home in the winter because sidewalks are never cleared probably can't sue.  Litigation is a pitiful substitute for legislation.
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(12-19-2017, 09:17 AM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(12-19-2017, 09:11 AM)MidTowner Wrote: Here is an article that explains a bit about when municipalities in Ontario are in practice found liable. It includes some scenarios from a case in Cambridge.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/n...-1.3108350 about the case I was thinking of about the damaged sidewalk in Hamilton. I think the details are interesting. The victim's negligence was found to contribute to the incident, but the case rested on the fact that the City did not take every reasonable effort to maintain the sidewalk, and did not follow its own policies.

Sorry, I know that's not about snow, but it came to mind as illustrative of how these cases are actually decided. The actual rulings can be interesting- they are highly situational, and victims are asked questions about how often they traverse a specific stretch of sidewalk, how aware they were of their surroundings and conditions that day, whether they may have been distracted, in addition to questions about City policies and how well they were adhered to.

What bugs me about this, is that it seems to require a specific harmful event (someone falling).  The thousands of people who simply cannot leave their home in the winter because sidewalks are never cleared probably can't sue.  Litigation is a pitiful substitute for legislation.

Or just doing the right thing without being forced.

I wonder though if an AODA complaint couldn’t be made. To me it is absolutely unacceptable that sidewalks are effectively unusable by many with reduced mobility. I don’t expect perfect equality between people of different levels of mobility — the fact that snow and ice are disproportionately a problem for those with less mobility is a fact of physics, not human-created discrimination — but better snow clearing would be a big benefit for everybody and even more so for those with reduced mobility.
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More maddening verbiage:

https://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1315089
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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