Walking through residential areas in Moose Jaw might be more challenging than driving on city streets.
© Carter Haydu
Moose Jaw's Earl Tysdal clears a path along the sidewalk on Feb. 23, 2012.
Earlier this winter city residents voiced their disapproval with the city’s poor snow removal tactics, but complaints about ice and snow-covered sidewalks have not been quite as vocal.
This is likely because bylaw enforcement officers don’t dole out fines to homeowners whose adjacent sidewalks don’t see the light of day.
Then again, there are only two bylaw enforcement officers employed by the City of Moose Jaw whose job it is to warn, or fine people and businesses that break any bylaw.
Unfortunately, when the Times-Herald spoke with a city bylaw enforcement officer, it was told there is no bylaw in Moose Jaw that requires people in residential areas to rid their sidewalks of packed and hardened snow and ice.
Even if there was a sidewalk bylaw, it’s not like the city has the manpower to enforce such infractions.
Hazardous buildup of snow and ice on sidewalks makes it difficult for people with healthy legs to walk from block to block.
Now, imagine if you had to get around residential areas in the city on a scooter or some other mode of walking aid knowing there was a strong chance you could wipe out at any moment.
Your task just got umpteen times more challenging.
Let’s not forget the 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts is coming to the Friendly City in February 2015.
We don’t want visitors to look upon our city with such indignation because our residential streets are coated with sheer ice, but it might happen after they fall on their backside.
Our sidewalks are dangerous to walk on. Sprains, dislocations and breaks could all be had walking on residential sidewalks.
The city needs to adopt and begin to enforce a sidewalk bylaw in residential areas — immediately.
In Saskatoon, homeowners who fail to clear the snow and ice off the sidewalks adjacent to their property are first assessed a warning, then fined $100 and $200 for first and second offences.
Third and subsequent offences result in a fine ranging from $200 to $1,000.
This fine structure is something the City of Moose Jaw would be wise to implement should a sidewalk bylaw be drawn up and put in place.
And just think of the money the city would bring in from people who are too lazy to get off their couch and fulfill their legal duty.
That money could be used as a contribution toward paying for other necessary municipal projects, such as fixing the east feeder water line.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.