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Winter Walking and Cycling
Now there would be an interesting correlation: when/where were snow removal complaints valid to be enforced, and when/where were bylaw ticketing cars. Would not be good optics to be jumping on a parked car all of the time, but never handling the snow infractions.
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(12-12-2018, 01:21 PM)Pheidippides Wrote: Does anyone know, or could tweet at the city of Kitchener to find out, how many sidewalk clearing offences have been issued under the new pro-active enforcement rules?

Also, is there some place on the city's website or twitter feed that says that it has been 24hours and by-law will now accept complaints? Even some giant red/green indicator or timer showing when the snow 'officially' stopped falling on their front page would be useful.

The city staff will be coming back to council with a report on sidewalk clearing in the spring.  I urge (and at the time will again urge) everyone who cares about this issue to come speak at council.  It's painful and annoying, but if we come and speak, we can make it painful and scary for Councillors to continue to do nothing.  At the time, I suspect they will come forward with some statistics, certainly including number of infractions, and maybe, number of patrol days, but other important statistics like, number of days that roads were plowed, but that no enforcement took place because of a few flurries will not be included.

The good news here, is staff are largely on our (my) side, or at least they were before, they wanted to do the pilot.  I will speak again in the spring, and I have a lot of meditating to do if I want to be polite in my speaking.  At this point, after nearly slipping on the still uncleared sidewalk on the way to the train station, I fear my presentation may consist of the words "My mother always told me if I don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.  Thank you, any questions?".

As for the 24 hour bylaw, no, literally nobody knows, you can't even call and ask, if you ask to be transferred to bylaw AND they answer the phone, they will still not tell you if they're enforcing TODAY, but they'll know if they enforced yesterday.

You can also just check environment Canada which is what my app does.
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On bike lane plowing.

The city (both Kitchener and Waterloo I believe) claim to plow bike lanes. This claim has various levels of truth to it.

At the one end, the city and it's employees absolutely do make an attempt to clear bike lanes of snow.

At the other, some bike lanes in the city are made more dangerous by this attempt (in my opinion).

The bike lanes that are best cleared are very wide (1.5-1.8 m + gutter), on two lane roads, here there is enough room and little enough snow for the plow to effectively move the snow out of a sufficiently wide portion of the lane to make it safe to use.

The most dangerous bike lanes are the ones that are (1.25 m + gutter or less--and yes, some are less), on four lane roads, here, despite what I'm sure is still an actual attempt, the bike lane ends up being so narrow and so full of snow, that all it does is give drivers the belief that I should be out of their way, without giving me any space to do so.

In both cases, the lanes will have occasional snow piles from the plow.

I don't actually even know if it would be possible to reasonably plow the narrow lanes. Just another reason the minimum bike lane standard should be 1.5 or better. That being said, given that we have 1.25 meter and less lanes, I wonder if we should even bother plowing them, at this point, it seems like it makes things worse for everyone.

And yes, I was passed extremely closely by a garbage truck this morning.

I'll be returning to the less direct much slower entirely off road route to my work from this point forward.

On the other hand, on my ride up the trail through Waterloo Park, I saw many many cyclists...
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I also chose to bike the off-road trail today rather than braving University Avenue. It's a bit longer, but it goes most of the way from home to work. Waterloo Park was nice.
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The bike lanes on the Margaret st Bridge are *never* ploughed. They are always filled with snow, pushed off by the trucks.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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It'd be nice to see the city use the giant snowblowers more often but when they take away the snowbanks on my street it seems like a pretty labour intensive operation with a lot dump trucks. Seems like this weekend is gonna make quick work of all this new snow.
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(01-03-2019, 02:13 PM)clasher Wrote: It'd be nice to see the city use the giant snowblowers more often but when they take away the snowbanks on my street it seems like a pretty labour intensive operation with a lot dump trucks. Seems like this weekend is gonna make quick work of all this new snow.

Montreal is good at the giant snowblowers and dump trucks. I'm sure it's super resource intensive. The other problem is where you put the snow.
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The City of Montreal also spends roughly 10 times what we do on snow clearing. If we had priority corridors identified for cycling, it would probably help direct our snow clearing resources more effectively and efficiently.
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I don't think the City of Kitchener's proactive enforcement is working too well.

Saturday was the region's "first winter storm" as labelled by the City of Kitchener and others. The snow stopped late Saturday, which means that sidewalks ought to have been cleared late Sunday.

Presuming Kitchener's Proactive Enforcers work normal business hours, they would have issued a few notices at least by noon Monday, supposedly giving scofflaws a further 24 hours to get those sidewalks cleared by some time today.

Obviously they're not able to do the whole city on Monday, and not everyone who receives said notices would obey on Tuesday, but it seemed to me that, if a sidewalk wasn't cleared yesterday morning, it still wasn't cleared this evening. And I'm not talking about residential back streets, but rather busy roads like Weber and Victoria.

I don't think their new system is working.
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CTV has run two stories today (you can see the videos on their website) explaining the process. It's very much in-process, Bylaw will be going out tomorrow and issuing fines for those who didn't clear their sidewalks after being issued the notices today.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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(01-22-2019, 10:24 PM)Canard Wrote: CTV has run two stories today (you can see the videos on their website) explaining the process.  It's very much in-process, Bylaw will be going out tomorrow and issuing fines for those who didn't clear their sidewalks after being issued the notices today.

Except that there is snow in the forecast so they probably won't be going out.  In fact if the current forecast proves accurate, they won't be out again for at least 7 days as there is snow forecast every other day for that long.

Welcome to the 100% impotence that is our snow removal bylaw.

Today is actually the first time I've walked outside the DTK snow removal area, and the first time I've encountered an uncleared sidewalk in days, and also I encountered near 100% snow coverage of sidewalks.  I also had a driver swerve towards me and honk at me as I walked on the road because the sidewalk was totally blocked.
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(01-22-2019, 10:17 PM)MidTowner Wrote: I don't think the City of Kitchener's proactive enforcement is working too well.

Saturday was the region's "first winter storm" as labelled by the City of Kitchener and others. The snow stopped late Saturday, which means that sidewalks ought to have been cleared late Sunday.

Presuming Kitchener's Proactive Enforcers work normal business hours, they would have issued a few notices at least by noon Monday, supposedly giving scofflaws a further 24 hours to get those sidewalks cleared by some time today.

Obviously they're not able to do the whole city on Monday, and not everyone who receives said notices would obey on Tuesday, but it seemed to me that, if a sidewalk wasn't cleared yesterday morning, it still wasn't cleared this evening. And I'm not talking about residential back streets, but rather busy roads like Weber and Victoria.

I don't think their new system is working.

If only we hadn't elected the only 6 people in the entire city who couldn't see that coming to city council. That or they're lying to themselves and everyone.
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(01-22-2019, 11:31 PM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(01-22-2019, 10:24 PM)Canard Wrote: CTV has run two stories today (you can see the videos on their website) explaining the process.  It's very much in-process, Bylaw will be going out tomorrow and issuing fines for those who didn't clear their sidewalks after being issued the notices today.

Except that there is snow in the forecast so they probably won't be going out.  In fact if the current forecast proves accurate, they won't be out again for at least 7 days as there is snow forecast every other day for that long.

Welcome to the 100% impotence that is our snow removal bylaw.

Today is actually the first time I've walked outside the DTK snow removal area, and the first time I've encountered an uncleared sidewalk in days, and also I encountered near 100% snow coverage of sidewalks.  I also had a driver swerve towards me and honk at me as I walked on the road because the sidewalk was totally blocked.

Bingo. There are another few inches of snow on the ground this morning- it's now irrelevant whether or not a sidewalk was cleared at all from Saturday's snowfall. No bylaw officers will be going out to issue fines today.

That having been said, even a few notices will help to improve things in the future. At least property owners will be made aware that there is a very remote possibility of receiving a fine.
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(01-23-2019, 07:30 AM)MidTowner Wrote:
(01-22-2019, 11:31 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Except that there is snow in the forecast so they probably won't be going out.  In fact if the current forecast proves accurate, they won't be out again for at least 7 days as there is snow forecast every other day for that long.

Welcome to the 100% impotence that is our snow removal bylaw.

Today is actually the first time I've walked outside the DTK snow removal area, and the first time I've encountered an uncleared sidewalk in days, and also I encountered near 100% snow coverage of sidewalks.  I also had a driver swerve towards me and honk at me as I walked on the road because the sidewalk was totally blocked.

Bingo. There are another few inches of snow on the ground this morning- it's now irrelevant whether or not a sidewalk was cleared at all from Saturday's snowfall. No bylaw officers will be going out to issue fines today.

That having been said, even a few notices will help to improve things in the future. At least property owners will be made aware that there is a very remote possibility of receiving a fine.

Ironically, it's an empty fear.

Still, I'm sure that aggressive ticketing could possibly make a slight improvement in snow clearing days later.  Maybe a few folks who walk around their neighbourhood for recreation days after a storm will notice things slightly better.

Those of us who walk on main roads every day for our transportation needs will continue to have no sidewalks for the entire winter.

I'll say it again, this is a garbage policy, and a waste of my tax dollars, and frankly I have absolutely nothing nice to say to the Councillors who voted for it.
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Hopefully we are all communicating this to the right places, so this constructive feedback actually gets to the people who need to hear it. Maybe next year they’ll realize it didn’t work this year, and they should have used the money to plough the sidewalks instead?
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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