Red Deer County weighs sidewalk snow clearing amendment

Now that Gasoline Alley has several brand new kilometres of sidewalks running beside its main thoroughfare, someone has to clear them when (shudder) snow and ice season arrive.

Now that Gasoline Alley has several brand new kilometres of sidewalks running beside its main thoroughfare, someone has to clear them when (shudder) snow and ice season arrive.

Red Deer County council is looking at two bylaw amendments that will contain provisions and penalties for county property owners who will be required to clear sidewalks adjacent to their properties.

Where the sidewalks are adjacent to public land, the county will need to ensure they are cleared, as well as the numerous bus stops in Gasoline Alley.

When the county began to look closer at the issue, it turned out there was no policy or bylaw in place on sidewalk clearing. The county just doesn’t have a lot of sidewalk to deal with, county manager Curtis Herzberg said.

The amendments to the Road Protection and Traffic Control and General Penalty bylaws have received first reading and were before council on Tuesday. They were delayed to a future council meeting so administration could provide more information, particularly on the cost of clearing bus stops and shelters.

Herzberg said this summer’s installation of sidewalks on the very busy Leva Avenue, as well as a small part of Lake Street that runs in front on the Hampton Inn and Suites, went very quickly.

Usually sidewalks go in before development really gets underway however the history of Gasoline Alley was that it didn’t have a lot of pedestrian traffic, he said.

But with regular transit service to Gasoline Alley since 2009, and numerous new developments, there’s a lot more pedestrian traffic.

People who were walking down the side of the road didn’t have a safe separation from vehicle traffic, Herzberg said.

“The amount of use on the sidewalks has been amazing.”

If the bylaws are passed, the penalty for failing to clear snow and ice from a sidewalk, or for clearing snow or ice from a sidewalk onto a highway or public place, will be $100.

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