Several months after the snowfall of 2008, we contacted Surrey’s mayor and council to ask about any bylaws concerning sidewalk snow-clearing.
At that time we were assured that businesses and homeowners were responsible for clearing the sidewalk adjacent to their property.
We were also told that in the event of future snowfalls, bylaw fines would be issued for failure to do so.
This past winter, while road clearing for traffic and business parking lots happened immediately, often overnight, many sidewalks remained impassible for over a week. Parents pushing strollers and elderly folk trying to get around with no other option than using the street risked being hit by cars.
This past February, April and June we repeatedly contacted city hall to see how many fines had been meted out for failure to clear snow.
With winter approaching we have recently repeatedly contacted Surrey’s bylaw office to find out the total fines issued – to no avail.
We suspect the reason no one from Surrey city hall has responded is that no tickets were issued and no fines were collected.
Unless folks are actually encouraged through fines to do so, we can expect each snowfall to continue to be far more difficult and dangerous for pedestrians to transit in than it is for the almighty car drivers.
Perhaps if Mayor Dianne Watts was getting around by shank’s mare and bus this would more of a priority.
Lance Read, Surrey