Let’s get at those sidewalks

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The first substantial snowfall of the season has hit and already sidewalks are roads are in bad shape.

And, as the valley slips into days of below zero temperatures, more snow is expected, which means the situation may not improve much.

It also means business and homeowners alike, if they haven’t already done so, should dig out their shovels and prepare for clearing the sidewalks in front of their respective shops and homes.

This winter, for a change, wouldn’t it be nice if homeowners actually got on board from the get-go with residential snow clearing of sidewalks? And if weekenders would ensure their snowclearing is properly contracted out?

Proper snowclearing (for which there are bylaws, by the way) means towns that are accessible for everyone – including our seniors, those who require wheelchairs and scooters, people pushing kids in various conveyances, and those who just like to get out and walk, take in the view and get some fresh air – without feeling they’re taking their life in their hands on treacherous sidewalks.

In Banff, homeowners must remove snow within 24 hours of its falling, and in Canmore, within 48 hours – according to bylaws.

Being that bylaw departments don’t seem to take a proactive stance in ensuring snowclearing is actually completed according to their own bylaws, it would be a nice change if residents simply got at it.

It’s disheartening to see our seniors, or those who require a wheelchair, for example, simply unable to get around their own neighbourhood due to negligent homeowners who can’t be bothered to clear their sidewalks.

Rather than wait for a chinook to do accomplish snowclearing for them, it would be nice if homeowners gave some thought to those who may have mobility issues.

And, in towns where the visitor experience seems to be all important, wouldn’t it set a good example to have sidewalks that can actually be moved around on?

Snow, of couse, is part of our winter experience, but it doesn’t need to be found everywhere in the valley, including our sidewalks.

Early Christmas gift

We can only imagine the smiles on seniors’ faces when they heard the news that after a long, drawn out construction process – much longer than expected – new units at the Bow River Lodge will be moved into during the first week of December.

Even for seniors who have experienced many Christmases, the fact they’ll be in news digs before the Dec. 25 big day must seem a great relief. They’ll be able to enjoy new rooms, a new dining area, elevators, superior washroom facilities.

To borrow a catchphrase from Bow Valley Regional Housing, moving into the new units is sure to make our seniors feel like This Is Home.

The new building, along with new units anticipated for phase two, are exactly what’s needed in the Bow Valley to keep our seniors here, at home, where many have spent decades working, raising children, helping out in the community, volunteering and generally making this valley feel like a true community.

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Rocky Mountain Outlook