After an outcry last winter from those struggling to use snow covered sidewalks in Hamilton, city council has approved a plan to clear an additional 783 km of sidewalk along transit routes.
The program will be contracted out starting in the winter of 2022/2023 and staff will develop an implementation plan from there.
Hamilton has the largest density of disabled people per capita across Ontario. Many people get trapped in the winter.https://t.co/F5s38dgNaV
— Disability Justice Network of Ontario (@djnontario) April 28, 2021
Added costs for the city to clear the extra sidewalk space is expected to be $2.3 million or $12 annually per household.
According to a report on Global News, Councillor Maureen Willson presented statistics from between 2016 and 2018 showing there were about 12,000 emergency department visits and 1,100 hospitalizations locally due to uncleared sidewalks.
Councillors who voted against the snow clearing argued that they were worried about the public’s expectations and noted that snow clearing will not take place until 5 cm of accumulation.
Snow clearing in Hamilton has been a hot debate for years with there being long stretches that remain unclear after significant snowfall.