Published online at GlobalTVEdmonton.com on February 14, 2011.
Linda Hoang, Global News: Monday, February 14, 2011
Homeowners reminded to clear walks as city receives over 5,000 complaints this year
Fluctuating temperatures are leaving pedestrians slipping and sliding on Edmonton sidewalks.
Since January alone the city has responded to 5,500 complaints about snowy and icy walks.
The city is doing its part to keep paths as safe as possible but its the homeowners responsibility to make sure their walks aren’t putting passerbys in danger.
Homeowners are supposed to clear all snow away from walks but if its become too icy and hard packed to cut through, the city asks that sand be put down to help make the walks less slippery.
If not, homeowners could be ticketed $100.
But Ryan Pleckaitis with the city’s community standards branch, says ticketing is often the last step in the process.
“We allow 48 hours of snow-free period before we have our enforcement officers going out sending out notices or tickets and making sure the property owners are doing there due diligence,” Pleckaitis said.
“Our philosophy is compliance before enforcement.”
Once a complaint is made, the department issues a seven-day warning notice. Only if snow and ice still remain after the seven-day warning notice and 48-hours snow free period, will the city fine homeowners.
But Pleckaitis warns the ticket can grow even larger than $100. If the city takes clearing the sidewalk into its own hands, homeowners could be required to pay for that work.
That cost could range from $150 up into the thousands. But beyond that price, is the cost of safety.
For Rob Hageman, who has been delivering mail in Edmonton for 20 years, this winter’s snowy and icy walks are some of the worst he’s ever dealt with.
“It’s about as bad as I’ve ever seen it,” Hageman said. “Seems like it’s the worst year so far because the water has no place to go.”
But Pleckaitis says about 90% of homeowners who are issued warnings will go out and remove the snow and ice.
Homeowners can pick up free sand from any community league in the city.