Accessibility Advocates Say City of Calgary Needs to Be More Inclusive in Snow Removal Priorities

By Jill Croteau Global News
Posted February 23, 2023

The snowy residue from the roads is piling up on sidewalks and sides of streets in Calgary after a significant snowfall. The icy mounds make it hard to navigate for most people but it’s almost impossible for anyone with mobility challenges.

Kim Tate has 2 prosthetic legs. She relies on Access Calgary buses at times, but can’t safely get to the drop off and pick up point outside her southeast apartment building.

“It’s 2023. Can we look after our elderly and people with disabilities.”

“It shows no concern, no respect, no caring. There’s a sign that says access loading zone and the guy or gal that plowed the other day, do they not read signs? Can they call it in and say can someone clean this up?” Tate said.

She said she called 311 to alert city crews.

“There’s no way the driver get into the spot, he would be parked in the middle of the road to load a person in a wheelchair.”

The City of Calgary released a statement:

“Additional contracted crews were called in to support and have completed two cycles of pedestrian infrastructure maintenance (including approximately 1250 high priority Transit stops, locations provided to us by Calgary Transit Access). We recognize that the recent snowfall has created challenges for all Calgarians and thank you for your patience as we continue working to respond to this record snow event.”

But accessibility advocate Darby Lee Young said their plan is inadequate. Young is the founder of an accessibility consulting agency, Level Playing Field.

“The weather really takes away my independence.”

“I understand they are trying to move snow around, but then they don’t clear the curb cut,” Young said.

“For those of us with disabilities, we get put on the back burner and we need the freedom of being able to get around and if we can’t it can be a hazard,” Young said.

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