The way we design public spaces, buildings, sidewalks, transportation infrastructure all contribute to, or undermine, safety and accessibility. Many of our neighbours end up housebound in the winter due to inconsistent snow clearing on sidewalks, ice build-up and windrows at intersections and alleys. If you can’t get around our City when you break your leg, or when you are pushing a stroller, it’s not working for our neighbours either.
The City has only recently started to explore options for addressing this transportation and accessibility gap. Many other winter cities are clearing sidewalks for pedestrians. We are challenged by how spread out Edmonton is, but finding ways to connect people to transit and local amenities on safe sidewalks needs to be a priority.
Access to safe, clean accessible public washrooms and drinking water can make our communities more welcoming and accessible for families with young children, seniors and the rest of us. Exploring our Main Streets, visiting local parks or simply walking to the grocery store become more possible when these facilities are available.
Making Edmonton an accessible city will increase community participation, increase access to goods and services, support local businesses and help people access more employment options.