Despite several delegates, including some from the CNIB and the Heritage Community Association, spoke up about the need for a sidewalk clearing bylaw, city council decided they would not be able to support a sidewalk clearing bylaw.
Council members against the bylaw said the fine for not clearing a sidewalk was primarily the deciding factor in their decision.
Councillor Andrew Stevens, who was in favor of the bylaw, says this feels like the city of Regina is going back to square one on this issue.
“I’m happy to pick up the pieces, look at community engagement, that’s awesome, (but) we did that already leading into this,” Stevens says. “We responded to residents through community engagement processes, that’s what brought us here. I’m not really that interested in another report that brings us back to where we were years ago, we’ve done that. Anything we can refine to improve the quality of walk-ability in this city in regards to the TMP (Transportation Master Plan), that’s great.”
Other cities, such as Saskatoon, Calgary, and Edmonton, have sidewalk snow removal bylaws in place for the protection of residents.
Stevens says this was an engaging debate on both sides that saw a lot of participation.
“This was certainly, by far, the most I’ve ever heard from anybody about anything we’ve done here,” Stevens says. “You name it; another mill rate increase last year, sanctuary access without fear for the city, doesn’t matter. This was the most engaged I’ve ever seen people.”
According to a recent Canadian study, 65% of falls among seniors take place outdoors in a familiar area.