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Sudbury advocacy groups call for improved sidewalk maintenance


Advocacy groups are calling for improved sidewalk maintenance in Greater Sudbury, saying it’s difficult for those with disabilities to get around the city.

In February, the city released a survey asking people for their feedback on sidewalk maintenance. Residents are asked to fill out an online survey containing five options, which are to be ranked in order of preference:

  • Begin sidewalk plowing at 5 cm instead of 8 cm of snow accumulation;
  • Priority sidewalk winter maintenance on non-residential, main routes;
  • 24/7 sidewalk winter maintenance;
  • private/public partnership for sidewalk winter maintenance;
  • or No changes.

Early in March, the local group Greater Sudbury Safer Sidewalks met to discuss the options in the survey, choosing option C, 24/7 sidewalk maintenance.

Clarissa Lassaline is a member of the group and is in a motorized wheelchair. She said she has difficulties getting around the city in the winter and has had to drive her wheelchair on busy roads.

She told CTV News she has also gotten stuck several times.

“I hardly go out at all during the winter time because the state of the sidewalks is so bad,” Lassaline said.

“ I can’t be sure I can get back in if I get stuck because there’s not always someone around and it’s hard on the chair.”

Charles Tossell, another member of the group, utilizes a cart because he’s unable to lift anything over five pounds.

Tossell said he primarily uses transit and has also faced sidewalk challenges.

“It’s very frustrating to rely on sidewalks where it’s more than an inch or two-and-a-half centimetres,” he said.

Amy Adair from Independent Living Sudbury Manitoulin said she struggles to get from point A to point B in her motorized wheelchair.

“I’ve heard it from my friends. I’ve heard it from people I know,” she said.

“They don’t leave their house until the snow starts to melt because either they’re in a manual chair and manual will get stuck, whether it’s fresh or plowed.”

Sudbury residents have until March 24 to complete the survey.  

Previously the group told CTV News they will post details and updates on their Facebook page and encouraged all residents to fill out the survey. Top Stories

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