Slick sidewalks pose threat
Seniors urge owners to clear the ice

by Cheryl Leschasin
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 16/97) - For many Yellowknifers, spring is time to splash in puddles, take the dog for a long walk or to simply get outside and enjoy the rising temperatures.

But there are plenty of people who don't necessarily look forward to spring conditions.

"For seniors, spring can be worse than winter," said Esther Braden of the Yellowknife Seniors Society.

With puddles, slippery ice and chunks of gravel to contend with, many a cautious senior would sooner stay indoors than risk a fall.

At a January city hall meeting, the Senior's Society recommended that municipal enforcement officers checking parking meters also note portions of city sidewalks that are slippery or gravelly.

Supervisory constable of municipal enforcement Larry Weber agreed it would be worthwhile for municipal officers to keep tabs on the downtown core. However, most icy sidewalks are found in residential areas.

"Problems start to arise outside of the central business district," said Weber.

There is municipal legislation in place to make sure people keep their portion of the sidewalk clean, although property owners have until May 15 to give their sidewalk a spring cleaning.

Weber added that there is no reason why people shouldn't clean their walks early, considering the early melt.

"We have to face the fact that we live in a winter city and we need to co-operate to keep the streets clean," said Braden, adding it is important for seniors to be cautious when venturing outdoors.

Seniors are not the only group struggling with spring slush, ice and rocks. Wheelchair users, the blind and other physically disabled people also have a tough time on Yellowknife's slick sidewalks.