What it really means when you clear your sidewalks❄️

Edmonton is a winter city that sees its fair share of snow and ice. With the snowfall, come the calls to the City of uncleared snow and ice on sidewalks—more than 10,000 of them on average per year.

The City follows up on all of these complaints and may issue either a warning or ticket under the Community Standards Bylaw 14600, the City’s snow-clearing bylaw. Why enforce? It’s not what you might think. 

It’s much more about people being able to move safely through the neighbourhoods of our city. It’s about seasonal empathy. It’s about safe travels. 

Every year, hospitals and clinics treat Edmontonians who have slipped and fallen on snow and ice left on sidewalks. People who have difficulty walking on tricky surfaces are more at risk of injury if sidewalks aren’t cleared. People with limited mobility, those who have put more than a few years behind them, service providers, children, parents pushing strollers. 

Living in a winter city means remembering them and the challenges that snow and ice pose. 

These hazards are why the Community Standards Bylaw requires you to clean the public sidewalks adjacent to your property, removing all ice and snow as quickly as possible. In icy conditions, the City encourages people to use sand or ice-melting products until they’re able to fully clear their walkways. Sand is available at many community sandboxes.

This winter, if you know of a neighbour who might have difficulty removing snow and ice from their sidewalk, consider giving them some help.

The safety of your neighbourhood, and the dignity of the people who walk through it, are in your hands.

If you see uncleared sidewalks or experience a slip and fall on any City sidewalk (including sidewalks that the City maintains), please call 311 or use the 311 app to report it to snow and ice clearing crews. If the sidewalk is City-maintained, crews will be dispatched to clear up slippery areas. 

Did you know? Did you know that overall, the City of Edmonton keeps more than 11,000 kilometers of roadways clean and clear all winter long? That’s the same distance as driving from Edmonton to Newfoundland and back! In addition, the City maintains 5,500 kilometers of bike lanes, shared-use paths and city-maintained sidewalks and 6,600 bus stops. To pull all of this off, the City has access to 150+ plows, 300+ graders and 260+ end dumps.

For more information, visit edmonton.ca/safesidewalks.