Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Walking City Wintertime: Snow and strollers in Toronto

Since 2010, I've written about snow clearance in the context of the Walking City and the creation of a "maintenance of way" agenda that goes beyond prioritization of motor vehicle movement, that is to say, sidewalks and bicycle lanes.

-- "Winter preparedness, planning and the Walking/Biking/Transit City," 2019
-- "A "maintenance of way" agenda for the walking and transit city," 2010 was the first substantive piece, in the face of "snowmageddon" when DC got about 26 inches of snow over about a week through two separate storms
-- "Testimony on the Winter Sidewalk Safety Amendment Act of 2011" 2011
-- Level of service and maintenance requirements in planning #2: winter maintenance of bike paths," 2012
-- "Agenda setting: snow clearance in the walking-biking-transit city," 2014
-- "Planning for winter weather," 2015
-- "Cataloging the various failures to remove snow in the walking/transit/bicycling city," 2015
-- "Who Knew?: There is a Winter Cycling Federation and annual conference," 2015
-- "Focusing on what's most important: snow on sidewalks or snow on cars?," 2016

Ana Bilanovic (right) gets a helping lift from sister-in-law Tamara Protic as they lift Matej, 17 months, over the ice rather than go through a puddle on the sidewalk along Gerrard St. E. (Rick Madonik / Toronto Star)

The Toronto Star has a great article, "Sidewalks turn into an urban obstacle course for parents with strollers," with wonderful photos about the difficulty of getting around while pushing a stroller on sidewalks and crosswalks that aren't adequately cleared of snow.

The photos would be great, featured in billboards and other marketing messages reminding people to shovel their walks, and to be sure they pay attention to intersections, snow along side frontages, walking paths across alleys, etc.
Bahaa Alhaj said he found it particularly difficult to push his two young children around in their stroller this winter. (Jason Miller / Toronto Star).

Of course, this can be a worse problem for the disabled, as these Star articles make cleaer:

-- "Disabled parking spots shouldn’t be dumping grounds for snow"

-- "Just deal with snow? Not so easy for some people"

This photo is from the latter article.
Lene Andersen, who uses a wheelchair for mobility, says getting around in winter weather is a big problem when sidewalks are covered with snow and snow banks block access to the street. Even getting to a grocery store can sometimes be impossible. (DAVID GOVONI)

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