Winter Sidewalk Maintenance 2018/2019

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When it's snowing and the weather forecast predicts a big snowfall, City of Kitchener operations staff move into action. The city clears snow and ice from the roads and sidewalks around city-owned facilities, walkways and parks. Kitchener residents are responsible for clearing snow and ice from sidewalks around their property.

New for the 2018/2019 winter season, bylaw officers will be proactively inspecting sidewalks citywide. If a sidewalk is not cleared of snow and ice, a bylaw officer will issue a one-time notice to the property owner and return within 24 hours. If the sidewalk has still not been adequately cleared, the city will arrange for a contractor to clear it and the property owner will be charged for the completion of this work. The average cost of clearing is approximately $280 but it depends on the size of your lot, amount of snow and time it takes the contractor to remove it.

Unshoveled sidewalks can create barriers for people who are walking, older adults with mobility devices, parents with strollers and people with mobility issues. By working together, we can give residents safe and accessible transportation routes to get where they need to go. View more information.

When it's snowing and the weather forecast predicts a big snowfall, City of Kitchener operations staff move into action. The city clears snow and ice from the roads and sidewalks around city-owned facilities, walkways and parks. Kitchener residents are responsible for clearing snow and ice from sidewalks around their property.

New for the 2018/2019 winter season, bylaw officers will be proactively inspecting sidewalks citywide. If a sidewalk is not cleared of snow and ice, a bylaw officer will issue a one-time notice to the property owner and return within 24 hours. If the sidewalk has still not been adequately cleared, the city will arrange for a contractor to clear it and the property owner will be charged for the completion of this work. The average cost of clearing is approximately $280 but it depends on the size of your lot, amount of snow and time it takes the contractor to remove it.

Unshoveled sidewalks can create barriers for people who are walking, older adults with mobility devices, parents with strollers and people with mobility issues. By working together, we can give residents safe and accessible transportation routes to get where they need to go. View more information.

Guest Book

Please provide your comments on the proactive bylaw enforcement program.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

If it cost too much to provide shoveling for everyone why did I see city side walk plows driving around on the side walks & roads on Dec 13 when there was no snow or ice. This is a big waste of money for fuel and wear and tear on the machines. These units and their drivers should not be sent out without confirmation they are needed, get the new by law officers to go out and access the conditions of the city owned portion of the sidewalks instead of picking on the tax payers.

ward almost 2 years ago

I'm opposed to this punitive approach by the City of Kitchener, which likes to view itself as a progressive, caring community. I think this heavy handed approach to force residents to clear the City's property is unfair to the elderly, many of whom have health conditions that prevent them from shoveling snow. Also, many younger workers are away from home for 12 hours or more per day, commuting to work outside of the region, perhaps two hours each way. This gives them approximately 12 hours at home, the majority of which is spent sleeping. 24 hours is not a long time to accomplish this task. The fine of $400 also seems excessive. I pay a snow clearing service $450/year to clear my double driveway and public sidewalk. With respect to the tax hike required if the City undertook to clear the snow from it's own property, all Region of Waterloo residents pay approximately $25 per year to have the regional airport (which I am in favour of), despite the fact the vast majority of residents are not currently using it, due to its limited service. All residents make use of public sidewalks, so $40 or so per year to have them cleaned professionally seems reasonable, especially if we claim to want to be a "walkable" community, and encourage people to age in place. As our population ages, taking care of the city's property by clearing the sidewalks will become more impossible for more people, and the resulting heart attacks will definitely increase the usage of our hospital resources. Other cities of all sizes have been doing this task for their residents for years...i.e., Barrie, London, Ottawa, Orillia, to name a few.

Skating Mom almost 2 years ago

We received a noticed by an enforcement officer on dec 10.1. He put the wrong date on the notice, dec 9 - technically this notice should be voided. The officer's response to this was that his apple watch was not working and gave him the wrong date.2. What are the measures you use to determine a snow and ice violation? Our side walk was clear with hardly any snow or ice and we still got a notice.3. There was no snow or freezing rain within the 24 of the notice we received.It seems ridiculous to receive a notice when the side walk was practically cleared of snow and ice. I understand if it just snowed or rained. Yes we would shovel and lay down salt.

Bm almost 2 years ago

Having clear sidewalks and roads are incredibly important, but when this was discussed with the City, paying for bylaw officers to hand out tickets was not what people had in mind. My understanding was that the cost to add this to taxes was approximately $50/property annually. Considering the aging population and difficulties people are having making ends meet already, a minor increase in taxes to cover this program would be more appropriate.

AJohns72 almost 2 years ago

When we, the residents, asked the city to solve the sidewalk snow problem, more bylaw enforcement was not the desired outcome. Those that can shovel the side walks, or that can afford to pay somebody to do it, do so already. Those that cannot afford to pay for snow removal service, now face additional fines, dressed as cost of clearing.If nothing else, the city should use its bargaining and buying power to drive the snow removal costs down from the $280 (?!), down to something reasonable. If the point is to remove snow, not to punish home-owners, we should be able to do better.

Chuck79 almost 2 years ago

I live near a school and there are a lot of elderly in the neighbourhood as well. When there's a big snow fall, the kids may well trampled all the snow before anybody gets to it. The side walks are uneven because not everyone can get to it at the same time, which is a bigger hazard than unshovelled sidewalks. The pilot program for city shovelling should have gone ahead. I'd rather pay extra taxes for city shovelling than for a bylaw officer to snitch on neighbours.

lilsp almost 2 years ago

I have a son who uses a wheelchair and travelling on city sidewalks in the winter is often a challenge. One of the biggest challenges, beyond timely snow removal, is the piles of snow left by the city or private snow removal companies at the curbs at intersections. These are impossible to get over with a wheelchair. So while the sidewalks may be cleared and navigatable, the intersections are not. I would also like to comment on my disappointment that the city did not take on snow removal as there are many, many citizens to whom this is an issue. We often can not go out for walks in the winter due to the inadequate clearing of snow and ice.

Kathy almost 2 years ago

I live in Kitchener (Forest Heights). We always shovel our sidewalk, and contract with a neighbor when we’re away. We walk pretty much every day, and have lots of neighbors who do as well, so it’s important to us to have shoveled sidewalks. Our problem is not neighbors not shoveling the sidewalks — it’s the city. There have been 3 houses on our street demolished this fall. There are no occupancy permits, no one lives there. Who is supposed to shovel the sidewalk in front of those 3 properties? We’ve sent emails to our mayor and councilor, but no one seems to know who is going to be responsible for those sections of sidewalk.

Joantcanuck almost 2 years ago

I agree with shovelling your own sidewalk if you are able, but the idea of getting it all down to the cement is ridiculous. A hard backed snow is just as negotiable or more than an frozen icy cement side walk. If you work and try to shovel at the end of the day it gets packed down during the day by all the traffic (kids going to school). This makes it almost impossible to get down to the cement without a lot of salt which we as citizens are told to use sparingly but the city dumps it on their sidewalks like it is doing a favour to the environment.Change the bylaw to state the sidewalks to be negotiable not down to the cement

ward almost 2 years ago

Instead of spending money on enforcing this bylaw, I think it would be better spent on citywide clearing of sidewalks. There are many people for whom removal of snow is a burden, and placing a financial burden on top of it is not fair or sustainable. Especially on days when the street snow removal dumps enormous piles at the end of driveways. It would be a better investment of resources to have a coordinated effort between street and sidewalk snow removal from the city so that everyone can safely exit their homes.

zabethob almost 2 years ago

In a home converted to several apartments who is responsible for sidewalk maintenance? The landlord is insisting the tenants are responsible. Is this true?

JeffDTK almost 2 years ago

I agree with joicelittlebit. Rather than penalizing those who are physically and/or financially unable to clear the sidewalks adjacent to their homes, the city should work with residents to assist them in clearing snow.

DawnSmith almost 2 years ago

Sidewalk being cleared is for the most part not the biggest problem, that will normally gets done eventually. However the buildup from the clearing of snow near the end of sidewalks while trying to cross the roads or go to my mail room is never addressed and IS ALWAYS THE PROBLEM. As someone with a disability and prone to falling I always need to weigh the likely hood of falling vs doing what I need to get done. Many of times falls or close calls onto the road have happened to me over the years. More often than not the last few years I turn around and go home and hope its cleared the next day.

Shogun almost 2 years ago

The money spent on increased "proactive" bylaw enforcement is better spent on the actual clearing of sidewalks

joycelittlebit almost 2 years ago

There really hasn't been enough snow events to really judge properly. But, based on our experiences so far, peoples habits have not changed.

jakay almost 2 years ago