Snow and Ice Control Update

On April 25, 2022, Paths for People spoke to City Council regarding updates to the City’s approach to Snow and Ice Control. This is an important opportunity to update our communities approach to ensuring our transportation system works for all modes in all seasons.

Council will contemplate moving forward with process changes in June 2022. We will keep you updated!

Good morning members of Committee and all other Councillors who are joining today. Paths for People is a non-profit organization working to make Edmonton a more multi-modal transportation city and a friendlier place to get around actively, be it walking, rolling, gliding, or cycling.

Snow and Ice Control is a key puzzle piece in the broader picture of ensuring that Edmontonians have transportation options when it comes to commuting and being active during the winter months.

In our engagement with our community members across the City, we hear consistent desire to improve our community’s approach to snow-clearing to ensure that is more equitable to people with more limited mobility and ensures that everyone has the choice to get around actively.

Failing to maintain our active transportation network to a high standard means more slips and falls, and more trips to the hospital. As per Statistics Canada Data between 2011-2016, Alberta had the second highest rate of hospitalizations regarding slips and falls in the Winter time out of all the provinces. It is clear that those with more limited mobility are more likely to slip and fall, or may not choose to go out at all. 

People understand that a higher level service means increasing resourcing for this service, but they also see snow-clearing as one of the central responsibilities their municipal government provides. They also understand the connection between a more walkable city and the larger city-building goals we have in City Plan for 15-minute communities.

The potential options provided by administration are excellent ways to improve moving around Edmonton in all four-seasons. We were appreciative of being engaged early on in the process and are thankful for administration’s effort to include community voices in the process.

Specifically, we are excited about

    • Clearing pathways for walking, rolling and biking reduces snow and ice build-up, creating more consistent connections throughout our community
    • It’s valuable to engage with a full spectrum of options in decision making. Although this is a big change, we also support smaller-scale changes, such as the City clearing arterial and collector sidewalks in neighbourhoods.
    • This is especially important when neighbourhood renewal improves crosswalks since we see many new ramps leading to crosswalks jammed up with ice later in winter.
    • This is an exciting way to enhance liveability in our communities, ensuring parkspaces can be better utilized in all four seasons.
    • We see bus stops blocked by snow often in winter times. We need to enhance access to support multi-modal journeys.

We understand trade-offs may need to be made when Council has to prioritize the funding and resources available in building and maintaining our transportation system. We will conclude by emphasizing the importance of active transportation. Like we always say, every journey starts with a walk or a roll. A lot of the positive changes the City has made in the past decade regarding active transportation in the past decade have had positive impacts for the community.