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'Snow moles' survey slippery Ottawa sidewalks

Armed with clipboards and questionnaires, volunteers are documenting how well, or how poorly, Ottawa's sidewalks are being cleared this winter.
sidewalk snow 1 amanda syvret 2016

A group of volunteers are taking aim at icy, snow-filled sidewalks that make it more difficult for seniors to get around in the winter, hoping the information they collect will power change.

The Council of Aging started the Snow Moles program -- a band of volunteers who document the state and safety of Ottawa's sidewalks.

"We thought if we had volunteers who went out...and report on that, we'd get some idea, generally, across the city of how bad or how good things are," said Dianne Breton, chair of the Snow Moles program.

Breton says she thinks it's time the city take a closer look at the job its doing clearing Ottawa's sidewalks in the winter.

"The last time those (winter maintenence standards) were reviewed was 2003," Breton told Ottawa Today with Mark Sutcliffe on 1310 NEWS. "So, we're advocating for a review of the winter maintenence standards."

Breton also hopes that the information gathered by her volunteers will help result in higher sidewalk-clearing standards.

Listen to the full conversation with the Snow Moles' Dianne Breton on Ottawa Today with Mark Sutcliffe:


Jason White

About the Author: Jason White

Jason is an award-winning reporter at CityNews Ottawa. He brings about two decades of experience in news, with stops in Halifax and Toronto.
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