Winter Sidewalk Maintenance 2018/2019

Consultation has concluded

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.

Please provide your comments on the proactive bylaw enforcement program.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

word of advice! don't put timelines on things unless ready to follow through. We are almost two weeks from the city posting the new poll would be up in a week.

dude123 9 months ago

*TIK *TOK a week has come and surprise surprise no new survey.

dude123 10 months ago

When is the mid Winter survey going to be up? Interested to see what is included and what questions are asked...

dude123 10 months ago

please provide pictures of acceptable and unacceptable side walks?

dude123 10 months ago

This is the most unclear bylaw i have ever experienced! I am new to the Kitchener area as of November. I have shoveled salted and scrapped after every snow fall. Yesterday i got home to a notice that my sidewalk was not up to par. The inspection was done Jan 30th 2019 @ 11:36am. 1st- I had shoveled and scrapped my sidewalks Jan 29th around 10:30pm. snow was still falling at that time. woke up to a small dusting. I thought i had 24 hours from snow fall? 2nd- is this bylaw not to enforce that people clear the sidewalks? If you passed my house everyone with common sense could see the side walk had been clear.3rd- How can i tell if this was a random inspection or if someone had complained? Real nice welcome to the Kitchener area!Also, Still waiting for a returned call from the number left on the notice.....

dude123 10 months ago

The city can't clear the sidewalks but they can plow all the bicycle paths in the city. How many people use a bicycle in the winter compared to people walking on a residential sidewalk. Take the money spent on all this reporting, promo & salaries for enforcing the sidewalk clearing and put it into the city clearing the side walks.If people have a problem with the side walk plow digging up there lawns along the sidewalk, get them to put up a sign saying "do not plow"

ward 10 months ago

We need the city / region to clear sidewalks just like we do with roads. It ensures safe walking conditions for everyone. It feels like people who walk in this city are second class citizens who have to rely on the actions of individual homeowners to be safe. Would we expect homeowners to shovel the road in front of their house? No, then sidewalks should be cleared by the city. This winter I find myself choosing to drive to work when it snows or is icy, even though I live a 15 minute walk away. If you want less cars on the road, make other alternatives like walking, cycling, actually safe and manageable.

jesse4 10 months ago

I believe sidewalk clearing should be provided by the city. The city owns the sidewalks and everyone has a right to move around the city unencumbered. Increased by-law enforcement will never be as effective as a city-run sidewalk clearing program. If a small tax increase is necessary to fund the program, then I would support it.

ktusznio 10 months ago

I’m all for being more strict on homeowners clearing sidewalks however I simply don’t understand how there can be effective follow through... I for one am not going to call the reporting line to tell the city that 75% of our walk to school is covered in ice today. It seems like city plowing would be a much simpler solution to keeping the walk to school manageable

Sarah V 10 months ago

I feel like there is a disconnect between the city bylaws and the region's push to reduce salt. Both are positive goals, but putting down sand in lieu of salt does not support the "clear to the bone" bylaw. I agree with the use of sand or dirt on a shovelled walk, but I do not agree that we need to clear all surfaces perfectly. In fact, salting an icy surface that refreezes - is worse than nothing.And I agree with all the comments that "punishment is not the answer".

GeoffK2015 10 months ago

Sidewalk clearing should definitely be a city responsibility. Sidewalks are for everyone, but they are especially for those with mobility issues and for those who don't have vehicles to drive on the well-cleared roads. Not everyone is able to clear sidewalks for one reason or another. Instead of punishing each other, we should help each other. Please raise taxes to cover the cost of snow-clearing. The city roads as a whole get cleared quickly and efficiently. Do the same for sidewalks, instead of stratifying the city even more into the haves & have nots.Next up: come up with an agreement with the Region of Waterloo for clearing bus stops. Bus stops last winter had ice built up in front of them that had a foot or more of ice above the sidewalk level. This spirit of "not my job" is terrible.

Magnilo 10 months ago

Sidewalk clearing needs to be a City responsibility as it benefits EVERYONE in the city as we are all pedestrians at some point in our journeys.All it takes is for one one property owner not to clear their property to completely block your journey. We are only as accessible as our iciest/snowiest sidewalk. Plus, there is a tidal wave of older adults crossing over in to senior adulthood who probably don't even know how much they will appreciate this service in a few short years' time.If Kitchener is going to pay a by-law officer to drive around and proactively look for uncleared sidewalks why not instead pay a snow plow operator to drive around and actually clear the sidewalks. Talk about a waste of time, fuel (greenhouse gases), and effort (e.g. writing the warning, coming back to write the ticket, sending out a crew to clear). Also, there are so many other resources and money be used to defend the status quo (promotional material costs, by-law enforcement, snow-angel program, neighbourhood snow-blowers, overhead administration, staff time, etc.) that could be directed to actually clearing the sidewalks.Travelling at 10kph it would take 5 sidewalk plows just under 24 hours to drive the 1,173 km of sidewalk in Kitchener. If the city is going to continue with the tattletaling system I really wish they would just add a faster/simpler way to report (e.g. via the PingStreet app, or email, or Twitter, or shorter phone experience). Residents are already inconvenienced by uncleared sidewalks, don’t inconvenience them further by making the reporting of such sidewalks more difficult.The City’s last estimate for sidewalk snow removal was about $26 per property owner (try getting a neighbourhood teenager to clear your sidewalk for $26 for an entire winter). Even at a minimum wage of $14 once a home owner spends more than 2 hours a winter clearing snow the City sidewalk clearing becomes the cheaper option. And given that we get an average of 12 snowfalls of greater than 5cm per season, and many more dustings in between, (compliant) property owners easily spend much more than two hours per winter clearing snow.Not paying to have the City clear sidewalks only means that we have higher other costs such as increased hospitalizations and emergency visits for falls on snow and ice.I think change to this policy would come much faster if, upon taking office, all councillors were required to surrender their cars and walk all winter (and ride their bikes in sharrow bike lanes the rest of the year).If we as a community support snow clearing in principle then we need to decide how to best plow for ALL modes of transportation in a reasonable time frame. If we decide we don’t support snow clearing as a community then we should immediately sell the snow plows and salters, and everyone, no matter their mode, can struggle through winters. Otherwise it is discrimination by mode; mode-ism.I hope that when City cleared sidewalks are a reality that the city will use plows with blades on the front and brushes on the back to reduce the amount of salt used.

Pheidippides 10 months ago

TL;DR - Sidewalks need to be clear during the winter and not a hazard, whichever way that can happen. I'm happy the city is trying something different.I am frankly dumbfounded that, as citizens, we find it acceptable that our roads are cleared better than sidewalks. You know, must ensure cars with tires don't have any problems. When it is safer for me to walk on the road than a sidewalk then something is wrong.For all those that complain that it's unfair to expect elderly to shovel sidewalks - do you think it is unfair some elderly people cannot even fathom walking in the winter for fear of slipping and breaking a bone? I am biased, I walk a 5-6km around my community each day and it is just disgusting how some people view sidewalk clearing. People will clear a path from their house to their car but have no regard for the sidewalk.At the end of the day, I don't care if it is through STRONG enforcement or city provided services, by RAISING taxes, residents of Kitchener deserve to be able to walk.

NotJustAnotherPaul 10 months ago

I believe sidewalk clearing should be rolled into City of Kitchener's services. The city owns the sidewalks and everyone has a right to move around the city unencumbered.

TaniaB 11 months ago

One big problem now is because we have not had big storms people think they don't have to clean sidewalk. The problem it warms a bit the snow starts melting then gets cold and turns to ice, it is actually more dangerous than a lot of snow. And because about 1/2 of the owners do not clean side walk , it makes the whole street dangerous if there is a bit of new snow and you cant see where the ice is. I don't understand with the new bylaw officers they cant patrol streets

Diggerjim 11 months ago

I disagree with the present approach to sidewalk clearing. I would like to see the small tax increase for the city to clear all sidewalks like in other cities. This will allow seniors to stay in their houses longer as well as being accessible to everyone.

Michie 11 months ago

There are many very dangerous locations on Sugar Maple St. (particularly at the south end) where ice accumulates due to overworked sump pumps. This is an unmanageable problem for home owners, in many cases, due to the low elevation of the street. C of K should identify these locations and provide direct drainage into the storm drains. Salt is not the answer and the ice buildup presents a serious hazard on both sidewalks and roads. Still several homes in the area where they simply will not clear their sidewalks.

Lloyd 11 months ago

The bylaw is toothless to begin with, enforcing a useless bylaw will obviously be useless. It doesn't require any snow removal until snow ceases for 24 hours straight. In the winter, it snows every day for a week or more many times...sidewalks continue to be blocked all winter. Anyone who was honest with themselves knew this would be the outcome.

danbrotherston 11 months ago

This is something the City ought to be responsible for. Making the residents responsible for sidewalk clearing by way of fines only harms vulnerable people in Kitchener. I'm a disabled person; clear sidewalks are the difference between going out or not in the winter, but I would not be physically able to do the clearing, and I'm on a fixed income. Creating penalties for marginalized people is a not a step forward.

ursine 11 months ago

I am a 79 year old woman with a heart condition living alone. Please, please, please raise my taxes and have the city clear my sidewalk. It belongs to them and I never use it. In 2014, I decided it was time for someone else to do the shoveling so I signed an agreement with a company called Property Connect. It cost me $400 and they did it 3 times before they skipped out, my money and that of many more people between here and Ottawa in tow. Since then, I have been struggling on my own. Occasionally I would like to go on a little holiday but the worry is always there that it will snow while I am away.mlynn

mlynn 11 months ago