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Winter Walking and Cycling
(11-08-2018, 11:48 PM)Rainrider22 Wrote: Realistically- How do you expect a few by law officers to go out and ticket a city the size of Kitchener ?  It will never happen.  It is complete lip service and the city knows it..

After only a few $400.00 tickets by a few by law officers, you would be surprised how fast the word gets around.
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(11-09-2018, 03:55 AM)BrianT Wrote:
(11-08-2018, 11:48 PM)Rainrider22 Wrote: Realistically- How do you expect a few by law officers to go out and ticket a city the size of Kitchener ?  It will never happen.  It is complete lip service and the city knows it..

After only a few $400.00 tickets by a few by law officers, you would be surprised how fast the word gets around.

How many is a few?

I called in something like 500 complaints last winter, of course, and bylaw issued something like 2000 tickets.  Yet sidewalks remained 100% uncleared on my walk to work all winter long.
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Maybe they are focusing on some areas more than others, but I definitely saw no enforcement of the bylaws
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(11-09-2018, 10:13 AM)Spokes Wrote: Maybe they are focusing on some areas more than others, but I definitely saw no enforcement of the bylaws

Do you mean proactive or in response to complaints?  Last winter they did zero proactive enforcement, this year they plan to do *some*.

However, bylaw was responding to complaints last year.  In one instance, a sidewalk on my way out of my neighbourhood is unoccupied and I called and complained about daily for 2-3 weeks, by the fourth week, it has been cleared by city crews.

In previous years I had been told, that their bylaw officers were "weeks" backlogged in complaints, but nobody would even tell me last year.

Worse, that last major snowfall we had, where most did not clear their sidewalks, and we had flurries two days in a row which delayed bylaw's response, I actually called in 2-3 dozen sidewalks that I walk on on my way to work.  I was explicit too, I listed every sidewalk that wasn't cleared only.  Yet, an acquaintance of mine, who had cleared her sidewalk (and I checked my list, and her house wasn't on the naughty list) did get a warning from bylaw.

No matter how you look at it, bylaw enforcement is a bad policy.
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(11-09-2018, 10:35 AM)danbrotherston Wrote: No matter how you look at it, bylaw enforcement is a bad policy.

Agreed. But it's what we are stuck with for this winter. Hopefully the new council will reconsider.

Is the $400 clearing fee the same as last year?
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(11-09-2018, 11:00 AM)tomh009 Wrote:
(11-09-2018, 10:35 AM)danbrotherston Wrote: No matter how you look at it, bylaw enforcement is a bad policy.

Agreed. But it's what we are stuck with for this winter. Hopefully the new council will reconsider.

Is the $400 clearing fee the same as last year?

The "new" council, that's what, 5/6th the same people?

I don't have much hope, my main goal is when that comes up in April to have as big and angry a crowd as possible in council chambers.  I personally will be demanding the city forgo a pilot and just fix this shit.  They had their chance and they blew it.

As for "we're stuck with it for this winter"...you're right, but what we're stuck with is nothing, we have no meaningful change whatsoever from previous years.

What I plan to do is release an app to make it easier to complain and to collect more data on sidewalk clearing problems.  I believe that will be more valuable in terms of data collection than the 170k the city is throwing away on this BS.
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Are you calling in sidewalks which caused you a physical inpidement?

Or ones with 0.2 mm of snow, “just to make a point” and screw over those who work 12 hours a day and can’t spend their entire life scraping down to the concrete?

I’m so sick of this because I genuinely make an effort to go out more than once during the day if I have to, even if I’m exhausted after work and still feel like I’m going to get screwed over by this arrangement because of life. Ugh.

Why can everyone not just pay $50/moth and the city do this?
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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(11-09-2018, 12:12 PM)Canard Wrote: Are you calling in sidewalks which caused you a physical inpidement?

Or ones with 0.2 mm of snow, “just to make a point” and screw over those who work 12 hours a day and can’t spend their entire life scraping down to the concrete?

I’m so sick of this because I genuinely make an effort to go out more than once during the day if I have to, even if I’m exhausted after work and still feel like I’m going to get screwed over by this arrangement because of life. Ugh.

Why can everyone not just pay $50/moth and the city do this?

Well, it's always a judgement call obviously.

I'm a physically able person, rarely do sidewalks prevent me from getting places (although there have been days, and certainly icy sidewalks are dangerous, I've had a few tumbles).

But I also have a coworkers in a wheelchair...he lives about 5 blocks away and in Summer, he wheels his wheelchair to work every day.  In winter, many many days he needs a coworker to come get him, sometimes he can manage to get to a bus stop..., but generally I'll call in any sidewalk that I don't think he'd be able to get through...

Keep in mind though, the bylaw is incredibly lax, not only would they probably not ticket for 0.2 mm of snow, or even 2.0 cm of snow, they won't ticket until 24 hours after no snow and not on weekends which in practice means at least 36 hours after snowfall--and they issue warnings, not tickets, at that time.

I call not to generate tickets, but to generate complaints. Staff two years ago, justified not doing city clearing (for 26 dollars, was their estimate), because it would result in more complaints than their current system.

A bit of history by the way, it was at least 4 years ago that this issue was first raised at council, where a staff report was to be produced, about the cost of such a program. That report took at least 1.5 years, and the result of it, was 26 dollars a household. Of course, that didn't go anywhere. About a year ago, staff started working on a pilot project. That hasn't gone anywhere. And this latest 4 years of literally spinning our wheels comes on the heels of years, probably decades of advocacy from GRAAC who have pretty much always raised this as an accessibility issue.

I really didn't even notice, until I sold my car and started walking more. Even when I did walk before, it was pretty much only on back-lot streets (city cleared) sidewalks, which are fine most of the winter.
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The city of Kitchener I believe estimated that it would cost $27 per household, per year, nowhere near $50/month.

I definitely don't report anywhere near all the impediments I come across, because when I walk to work, if I take streets with homes instead of city-maintained ones, I pass dozens and dozens and dozens of homes, and don't have time to double or triple my commute each day to report those whose sidewalks are compacted by footprints, layered with half a foot of snow. An app that worked with a simple UI that only required the dexterity of the poor-definition touchscreen-enabled gloves, and let me click "report", gave me maybe 4-6 house numbers based on GPS location (so I could select the house from the nearest forward/backward, my side/opposite side of street), I'd use it.

I don't seek to call in people like you, Canard, where it's not down to concrete (the city's estimate for what city-run services would do was something like <1cm hard-pack). But I forget a bit that one reason I took up winter cycling this past year was because the walk to work was frustrating, both when I was impeded, as well as when I could tell that while I was able-bodied enough to make it through, others weren't. Where I used to live, I would see two different people with visual impairment, and many other people who used different mobility aids, getting blocked and trapped in snow, both of private owners as well as managed complexes. It's insane to me how we can accept that.
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(11-09-2018, 11:55 AM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(11-09-2018, 11:00 AM)tomh009 Wrote: Agreed. But it's what we are stuck with for this winter. Hopefully the new council will reconsider.

Is the $400 clearing fee the same as last year?

The "new" council, that's what, 5/6th the same people?

I don't have much hope, my main goal is when that comes up in April to have as big and angry a crowd as possible in council chambers.  I personally will be demanding the city forgo a pilot and just fix this shit.  They had their chance and they blew it.

As for "we're stuck with it for this winter"...you're right, but what we're stuck with is nothing, we have no meaningful change whatsoever from previous years.

What I plan to do is release an app to make it easier to complain and to collect more data on sidewalk clearing problems.  I believe that will be more valuable in terms of data collection than the 170k the city is throwing away on this BS.

Three new councillors out of 10. Hopefully that's enough.

If you can get the app (or mobile web site) done I'll be very happy to use it. And I'll promote it to others in our building.
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(11-09-2018, 12:50 PM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: The city of Kitchener I believe estimated that it would cost $27 per household, per year, nowhere near $50/month.

And if they’re concerned about people whining about the cost, they can always offer an “opt-out” option. In practice, this would mean the City plow would lift its blade while it drives over the sidewalk in front of the opted-out property then put it back down on the other side, but the property owner could feel good about sticking it to the taxman. Of course bylaw should visit every opted-out property exactly 24 hours after snowfall ends and issue a ticket if it’s not at least as well cleared as the non-opted-out properties. I think very quickly the opt-out rate would shrink to negligibility.
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(11-09-2018, 01:25 PM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(11-09-2018, 12:50 PM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: The city of Kitchener I believe estimated that it would cost $27 per household, per year, nowhere near $50/month.

And if they’re concerned about people whining about the cost, they can always offer an “opt-out” option. In practice, this would mean the City plow would lift its blade while it drives over the sidewalk in front of the opted-out property then put it back down on the other side, but the property owner could feel good about sticking it to the taxman. Of course bylaw should visit every opted-out property exactly 24 hours after snowfall ends and issue a ticket if it’s not at least as well cleared as the non-opted-out properties. I think very quickly the opt-out rate would shrink to negligibility.

Love this idea.  Can't see that it will ever happen in this city, but love it!
...K
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If the city is going to go with the tattletaling system I really wish they would just add a faster/simpler way to report (e.g. via the PingStreet app).
 
 
According the Kitchener’s open data there are about 1173km of sidewalk in Kitchener.
 
577km of that has sidewalks on both sides and could potentially be inspected simultaneously (although it seems it would be difficult to examine sidewalks on both sides of the road at the same time AND drive) – note that sidewalks don’t always extend the same length on both sides.
113km of that has sidewalks on one side of the road only.
 
That’s 690km of sidewalk to inspect
 
Even without stopping to note non-compliant addresses or write warnings or tickets, and travelling at 30kph, which still seems too fast to allow for proper inspection of both sides of the street simultaneously while driving, it would take a single by-law officer 23hrs to inspect the entire city or 4 by-law officers entire 8 hour shift; and more than enough time for the snow to have accumulated again and reset clock.
 
Talk about a waste of time and fuel.
 
If they are going to pay someone to drive around and look for uncleared sidewalks why not put them in a sidewalk plow and actually clear the sidewalks.
 
Travelling at 10kph it would take 5 sidewalk plows just under 24 hours to drive the 1173 km of sidewalk.
 
 
 
 
 
Do the new provincial minimum maintenance standards exceed Kitchener’s current by-law in any respect? For example, I wonder if the City’s constant resetting of the clock when it starts to snow again would be in contravention of 16.3.1a since under the legislation one accumulation has ended and the sidewalk needs to be cleared to <=8cm within 48 hours.
 
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/020239
Snow accumulation on sidewalks
16.3 (1) Subject to section 16.4, the standard for addressing snow accumulation on a sidewalk after the snow accumulation has ended is,
 
a) to reduce the snow to a depth less than or equal to 8 centimetres within 48 hours; and
 
b) to provide a minimum sidewalk width of 1 metre. O. Reg. 366/18, s. 15.
 
(2) If the depth of snow accumulation on a sidewalk is less than or equal to 8 centimetres, the sidewalk is deemed to be in a state of repair in respect of snow accumulation. O. Reg. 366/18, s. 15.
 
(3) If the depth of snow accumulation on a sidewalk exceeds 8 centimetres while the snow continues to accumulate, the sidewalk is deemed to be in a state of repair with respect to snow accumulation, until 48 hours after the snow accumulation ends. O. Reg. 366/18, s. 15.
 
(4) For the purposes of this section, the depth of snow accumulation on a sidewalk may be determined in the same manner as set out in subsection 4 (4) and by the persons mentioned in subsection 4 (3) with necessary modifications. O. Reg. 366/18, s. 15.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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(11-09-2018, 01:25 PM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(11-09-2018, 12:50 PM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: The city of Kitchener I believe estimated that it would cost $27 per household, per year, nowhere near $50/month.

And if they’re concerned about people whining about the cost, they can always offer an “opt-out” option. In practice, this would mean the City plow would lift its blade while it drives over the sidewalk in front of the opted-out property then put it back down on the other side, but the property owner could feel good about sticking it to the taxman. Of course bylaw should visit every opted-out property exactly 24 hours after snowfall ends and issue a ticket if it’s not at least as well cleared as the non-opted-out properties. I think very quickly the opt-out rate would shrink to negligibility.

There are several issues with this solution.

First, one of the big points of delivering city services is the QoS will be far FAR higher than the bylaw requires.  The city plows immediately upon snowfall.  Major roads are cleared continuously.  This is currently true for major trails.  By 24 hours after the end of major snowfall (36 if very heavy snow) all roads are done.  This is true, even if we get flurries the next morning, they don't stop plowing and wait another 24 hours....but bylaw does.

The second is simply that doing so would cause the cost to increase substantially.

Also, I think people would object to piles of snow being dumped ON their sidewalk, (not that the road plow doesn't do that already), and pushing the pile to the side only exasperates the cost issue.

And the third, is that people with no sidewalk would now be expected to pay or not?  Now property owners with sidewalks pay more?  Not a good policy, especially since those without sidewalks still benefit from plowing because they too can walk places.

The point is, the fee isn't a fee to get YOUR sidewalk cleared so you don't have to do it, it's a fee to get the sidewalks cleared in the city so that you can walk on them.  Even in terms of selling it to people, I see the second perspective as better anyway, it appeals to the "sense of community" that certainly city Councillors wrongly use to try and justify property owner clearing of sidewalks, and it's equal.  Otherwise, those who have no sidewalks, or shorter sidewalks want to know why they're being billed the same for less benefit.
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(11-09-2018, 03:32 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: And the third, is that people with no sidewalk would now be expected to pay or not?

They should pay the same. Any property owner that is concerned about having to pay in spite of not having a sidewalk, should be able to make an application to the city to get a sidewalk installed promptly the following summer!
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