Following complaints of sidewalk bylaw, Mayor hoping to see administration revisit bylaw

The City of Regina has seen its residents unhappy with the enforcement of its sidewalk clearing bylaw.

The dismay with the bylaw comes after seniors, and those with physical disabilities have received fines for not clearing their sidewalks, despite not being unable to do so.

In some cases, residents have called the Snow Angels to remove snow and still received fines after clearing their sidewalks.

The current bylaw states that all property owners in the city must clear their walks and nearby sidewalks to the edges of the sidewalk and as close to the concrete as possible within 48 hours of a snowfall.

Mayor Sandra Masters said that she believes they can improve the bylaw.

“I think what is missing is when it is seniors or individuals who are physically limited, that it is not necessarily punitive, but perhaps a solution can be around that,” she said. “Internally, being understanding and reflecting that in the policy is probably something that needs to be implemented on a go-forward basis.”

Masters said council is open to revisiting the bylaw, but she would like to see City administration take charge first.

“I think fundamentally, administration responding and adapting and bringing recommendations or their findings back to council is always the ideal way, and if you have a customer service focus, you are trying to implement something that makes sidewalks safe and accessible.”

“I would hope that administration would come back with some recommendations going into next year on how to deal some of the issues around, especially around seniors and those folks physically incapable,” she continued. “We have the snow angels program, but if there is no one solution that is ironclad, and I don’t believe there is, then how do we deal with that little bit that sits in that grey area.”

Masters said that in some of the feedback she has received, it had been the city responsible for the blocked sidewalks.

“Some of the pictures and feedback that I’ve received is when we snow plow, we are dumping the snow back onto the sidewalk, and then to hold residents accountable for the width of a sidewalk seems incongruent with what we are trying to accomplish. We are not participating essentially in part of our own solution.”

After a year of only giving warnings to educate the public, this is the first winter where the bylaw has been enforced.

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