Thunder Bay Sidewalk Clearing Needs Attention

The snow has built up along sidewalks making it very difficult for mobility challenged residents to access transit.
The snow has built up along sidewalks making it very difficult for mobility challenged residents to access transit.

The snow has built up along sidewalks making it very difficult for mobility challenged residents to access transit.
The snow has built up along sidewalks making it very difficult for mobility challenged residents to access transit.

Sidewalk Clearing Helps Thunder Bay Keep Moving

THUNDER BAY – Editorial – Thunder Bay sidewalks can present a real challenge for residents. Along transit routes, where residents accessing transit with wheelchairs and walkers, having snow built up presents a real challenge. The last major snowfall was over a week ago. However along Fort William Road, as shown in the image the busy transit stop by Walmart is making it difficult for mobility challenged passengers to get on Thunder Bay Transit buses.

Transit stops are listed as priority snow cleaning zones. However it appears there are many spots around the routes where that priority is not resulting in snow clearing at a level that makes it easy for access.

Perhaps it is time that some of the City Managers take a few days without vehicles, and travel the city via wheelchairs on Transit and get a first hand experience of how things are for a senior or mobility challenged person?

A week earlier, at the same stop, a man in a motorized wheelchair needed the assistance of three transit riders to get through the snow to access the ramp on the bus.

Thunder Bay Transit has put in place the resources to allow a mobility challenged person to use transit. The kneeling buses and the ramps are all great. However if the person can’t access the transit stop, those efforts fail.

This winter has presented Thunder Bay with lots of challenges in dealing with the snowfall amounts received in the city.

In Thunder Bay, many people scoff at Toronto where a small amount of snow puts the entire city into a crisis. As a northern city, getting through winter is like falling off a log.

Thunder Bay roads crews have done some fantastic work over recent weeks. Snowbanks are being dealt with, and removed along key corridors, including the downtown Fort William, Waterfront District and Simpson Street zones.

However ensuring that transit passengers, especially those with mobility issues have easy access is important too.

Walmart customers face a difficult journey from the transit stop to the store.
Walmart customers face a difficult journey from the transit stop to the store.

Along Fort William Road, it should also be mentioned that Walmart likely needs to step up their efforts in cleaning their sidewalk for customers accessing their store. The snow on the sidewalk there makes it extremely difficult for customers to get to their business and shop.

As a winter city, getting snow clearing right, for retail shops and for the city is a key for future prosperity.

James Murray