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LETTER: 'Battle already lost' with sidewalk plowing

'Winter is far from over. It is time for the city to take snow removal to the next level of service,' says Barrie resident
A reader submitted these photos of sidewalk plowing in Ward 2, which they say is unsatisfactory.

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How do we know that winter has arrived in Barrie? All the festivals and festivities? The holiday light displays? The cold mornings and frosted windshields?

Yes, to all of these.

I would add another to my list. It would be the inability of the City of Barrie to maintain and clear many of the sidewalks of snow.

This responsibility falls squarely on the city and its contractors and they manage to fail at this task, winter after winter. We have only had one significant snowfall this season and here in Ward 2 the battle is already lost.

Our mayor and council love to use terms like a "more walkable city" or making things pedestrian-friendly. That does not help if you have trouble getting about four months of the year.

In previous winters, I have emailed in complaints and they have come to make a second pass without much improvement. The packed snow becomes ice and seniors with walkers venture onto the road surface as the safest way to move about.

The simple fact is that the equipment is not designed for older sidewalks. In Calgary, they exclusively use power brushes on the sidewalks. I have heard they do a much better job. I have seen several in Barrie, but I am not sure where those are being used.

Winter is far from over. It's time for the city to take snow removal to the next level of service.

Bob Ossowski