As part of the December Bylaw Enforcement Education Program, bylaw officers will be on the lookout for potentially slippery or impeding strips of sidewalk and walkways and will be chatting with residents as to the need to keep things clean and dry.
“After a recent snowfall, people are required to clear the sidewalk within 24 hours,” says Sergeant Ross Gear with Enforcement Services. “We get calls from various people with complaints about sidewalks, we do our best to talk to the owner or renter and get their cooperation to get it cleaned up.”
Gear says after that period, it can become hazardous in a quick way, especially if the temperatures fluctuate wildly.
“If we get a melt and thaw, as we do in Grande Prairie very often, it becomes very icy, then it becomes a fall hazard and unless the person has very good footwear you might slip on the ice and fall.”
Gear says, in his experience, residents usually comply without issue, however, even in the most extreme of circumstances, the job usually gets done without much fuss.
“Most people are very good, sometimes sidewalks don’t get cleared because people might be away and they didn’t account for somebody else to help them out while they’re away. There are a variety of reasons, but once our officers go and talk to them the citizens in Grande Prairie are very good.”
Gear says a fine of $100 can be handed out for residents who don’t comply with sidewalk clearing within a reasonable amount of time after a snowfall.