How To Make Snow-Bound Cities Less Of A Frozen Hell For People With Disabilities

Many cities in the US, just like Asbury Park struggle with the question of “whose job is the snow?”  Homeowners are responsible for clearing sidewalks, but the opening from sidewalk to street may be routinely plowed in and snow piled up during the course of a storm and afterward, making it almost impossible for anyone to get cross the street without hiking boots and crampons, let alone a wheelchair.

“Without clear, accessible streets, people with restricted mobility often face a tough choice in winter: struggle to cross icy sidewalks and snowbanks, or stay indoors. But it’s very possible for cities to better design their winter strategies for people of all abilities.”

“What bad weather does is exacerbate the mobility problems that people experience in a city under normal conditions,” says Brent Toderian, founder of Toderian UrbanWorks, a Vancouver-based urban design consultancy, and former planning director in both Vancouver and the very snowy city of Calgary. “If you’ve designed a city badly–for instance, by prioritizing cars instead of people–it’s going to be hard for people to get around, and bad weather makes things worse.”

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