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Letter: Winter sidewalk maintenance a matter of safety

Reader recalls a fall this winter that could have gone badly
A sidewalk plow clears snow at the intersection of Elm Street and Notre Dame Avenue/Paris Street in Greater Sudbury.

On the morning of February 13, I was walking to the bus stop when I slipped on ice and fell. My foot was twisted under me. I was certain that instead of going to work, I'd be going to the hospital. 

I was fortunate in two ways that day: first, my ankle was not seriously injured; second, as I have no physical limitations, I was able to get up after the fall.

Many people in this city do face challenges with mobility. These people often cannot get up if they fall and are at far greater risk for injury than I am. 

This was the situation a senior lady I spoke with was in when she fell. She couldn't get up and was lying in the cold until people came who were able to help her and ensure she was uninjured.  

She wasn't there for long, and the weather wasn't too cold that day. Like me, she was fortunate. But both of our falls could (and should) have been prevented with proper sidewalk maintenance.

The issue of winter sidewalk maintenance is not just for pedestrians, just as road clearing isn't just for drivers. Everyone has the right to safety. This is true of drivers and those who use


The current lack of maintenance shows how little the current city cares about accessibility and safety. But they should, and so should everyone.

If you haven't already, please take the city survey on sidewalk maintenance, and consider the words of my friend, who advises (during election time) to vote based on the most vulnerable people. 

Sarah Bowdidge

Greater Sudbury