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LETTER: Maple Ridge resident forced to jaywalk due to impassable sidewalks

Snow and ice prevented a local resident from walking safely
A business owner on 224th Street cleared the sidewalk after a storm in December 2022. A local letter writer would like more people to follow municipal bylaws that require clearing sidewalks and paths. (The News files)

Dear Editor,

On Feb. 27 I tried navigating, using a walker, on Lougheed Highway in downtown Maple Ridge. In places I was forced to jaywalk, because the sidewalk was impassible, as it was covered in ice and snow.

When I was nearing my destination, there was a long stretch of sidewalk that was caked in ice and snow. Rather than jaywalk which, for me, is an absolute last resort, I entered the alleged guilty fast food chain restaurant, and I spoke to the supervisor.

I informed the supervisor that the restaurant was violating Maple Ridge’s removal of snow and other matter bylaw, which I read out loud, as I wanted the restaurant’s customers to hear what I was saying.

Maple Ridge’s removal of snow and other matter bylaw states:

27.0 Removal of snow and other matter

Every owner or occupier of real property shall remove snow, ice, leaves dirt, or other debris from sidewalks, stairs, ramps, and foot paths bordering the real property as well as walkways, ramps, and stairs on real property which are open to the public, no later than 10:00 0’clock in the morning of the day following the accumulation.

I reminded the supervisor that since the restaurant was located on a corner lot the restaurant was responsible for shoveling two sidewalks, and for salting two sidewalks. There is no point in shoveling the sidewalk if the ice underneath the snow is not removed.

The supervisor claimed someone had called a contractor to come and clear the snow. She did not mention anything about removing the sidewalks’ ice. I said that was not good enough because the ice and snow had been on the sidewalk over 24 hours since it had accumulated. I told her to find a more reliable contractor, but she ignored me.

I asked her how I was supposed to get to my credit union, as I was unable to use the sidewalk. The supervisor escorted me, we both jaywalked, to the traffic the light. Then we went our separate ways.

A few weeks ago, in a letter to the editor, I told people not to jaywalk. So, when I found myself jaywalking, I felt like a hypocrite. But, I did not cross the road. I walked by the side of the road. However, if the fast food restaurant had cleared its sidewalks of ice and snow, I would not have been forced to jaywalk.

Linda Meyer, Maple Ridge


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