snow bound: another voice for action

Advocates for disabled urge snow removal

The Hamilton Spectator

(Apr 8, 2008)

The city's disability advisory committee is warning Hamilton's handling of snow removal on sidewalks is "very nearly becoming a human rights issue."

At the group's request, city council asked staff yesterday to examine its policies for clearing sidewalks. The chore is the responsibility of homeowners, though some councillors have recently mused about the city taking over the task for a cost to taxpayers.

The advisory committee wrote in a report that sporadic clearing of sidewalks forces many disabled people to "become prisoners in their own homes for weeks at a time." It notes that getting to work, a doctor or even buying groceries can be "herculean tasks" without clear walkways.

The report recommends the city mandate snow must be cleared within 24 hours of the start of a snowstorm, instead of the end. The committee also wants better clearing of bus stops and stricter enforcement of snow clearing.