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Sidewalk snow removal ‘stinks,’ says Belleville resident

Snow left unplowed on sidewalk at corner of Dundas Street and Palmer Road. Photo by Sean McIntosh [1]

Snow left unplowed on the sidewalk at the corner of Dundas Street and Palmer Road on Wednesday. Photo by Sean McIntosh

By Sean McIntosh [2]

BELLEVILLE – Plows are all over the streets in Belleville [3] after one of the biggest snowfalls of the winter, but sidewalks remain a concern to some.

Snow may be nothing more than an inconvenience for some people to walk through, but for people who cannot walk, it creates a greater problem.

Belleville’s Jimmy Drummond has been using an electric scooter for nine years due to diabetes and ulcers in both of his legs. He says he doesn’t like the way the sidewalks are taken care of.

“I think it stinks,” he said. “You don’t sit in a chair like this and go in the snow.”

He says he has gotten stuck in the snow countless times since he’s been using his scooter.

“If the sidewalks aren’t plowed and you try to manoeuvre your machine on the sidewalk when it’s (covered in snow), you’ll end up in a snowbank every time.”

Drummond said people on the street have helped him move his scooter out of the snow on several occasions.

“If it wasn’t for the good people of Belleville, I’d still be sitting there.”

There hasn’t been someone there to assist every time. One time he was forced to call a taxi to help get him out of the snow.

There are 15 city plows available to work on the streets in Belleville, running 13 routes, but there are just five plows for sidewalks, according to Pat McNulty [4], Belleville’s manager of transportation and fleet services.

Even though the sidewalks aren’t as heavily plowed as the streets, they are still taken care of, McNulty said.

The sidewalks are “a concern, but we do the best that we can as soon as possible,” he said.

McNulty had a suggestion for people like Drummond who have mobility issues.

“Another solution would be just not to go on the sidewalk. Go on the road,” he said.

But, he added, “we’ll see if we can get (the sidewalks) cleared up as soon as we can.”