No tickets issued in Nanaimo for snowy sidewalks

No tickets issued in Nanaimo for snowy sidewalks

NANAIMO – City of Nanaimo bylaw enforcement makes effort to convince folks to comply with bylaw.

City of Nanaimo bylaw enforcement didn’t ding a single person for failing to shovel their sidewalks during snow days in December.

According to the bylaw, people can be fined for failure to remove snow, ice, or rubbish from a structure or sidewalks, but Rod Davidson, manager of bylaw, regulation and security, said a concerted effort is made to convince people to comply when possible. The city doesn’t have the manpower to go around ticketing people all over town, he said.

“What we’ve always done here is we have a policy where we will proactively, in the downtown area or areas where there is very heavy pedestrian traffic, we will go in, we will talk to the adjacent store occupants or owners or residents … and we get very good compliance with the bylaw,” said Davidson.

There were a couple of residential areas where the city received multiple phone calls, but Davidson said staff talked to the people and the sidewalks were cleaned.

“We would be more aggressive if there were huge icicles hanging from an awning over top of a sidewalk that could break off and hurt somebody. We didn’t get any of those complaints this year thankfully,” said Davidson.

He said with the city’s ticketing system, violators pay an initial $75, but if the fine is paid within 14 days, it decreases by 25 per cent.

The Regional District of Nanaimo has no bylaw requiring removal of snow, said Geoff Garbutt, regional district general manager of regional and community utilities.

In electoral areas, public roads and sidewalks are the property of, and managed by, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, he said.