Bad Drivers, Enforcement and Crosswalks

I know, I know. Never write when you’re angry. Its been 24 hours since I came within inches of being hit by a car and now being upset has turned to anger. I, along with many, many others, are fed up with the whole near death experiences we suffer each day thanks to drivers. The following is a letter I submitted to the Chief of Police, City Council, The Police Services Board and the Traffic Management Unit:

November 30, 2019
London Police Services
Office of The Chief, Traffic Management Division
Re: Pedestrian Safety
Good afternoon,
I write this in the hopes its draws attention to an on-going issue as it relates to pedestrian safety. To preface this letter, I am a person with a disability, currently (temporarily) limited to a wheelchair. Most times, I am able to walk on two prosthetics. I am an advocate for the those with disabilities and lobby hard for barrier free accessibility in this city. I also want to say upfront that I appreciate budgets, staffing and limited resources. I am not blaming the police for this situation, rather the public. I am looking to the LPS to assist and crack down.
As you are aware, drivers in London have become insanely dangerous. In my 53 years, I’ve never seen it this bad. I live on Oxford and Maitland and see dangerous, careless driving each day. As a pedestrian, this is particularly alarming. Drivers refuse to stop at stop signs, especially at side streets such as Maitland and William. I’m sure this is a similar situation all over the city. What is troubling is that often, the drivers not only do not stop, but only look to the left when turning right, failing to check for pedestrian traffic in the other direction. The “make eye contact” before crossing is a challenge when the drivers themselves don’t look.
Yesterday, I came within inches from being hit while crossing Oxford and Waterloo. A driver turning left failed to check for pedestrian traffic and had to slam on her brakes in order to stop from hitting me. Just another example of the terrible driving I’m seeing. Drivers are speeding, failing to adhere to traffic signals and stop signs, drive dangerously, fail to signal before changing lanes…. the list goes on and on. In my 32 years driving, I’m stunned at what I’m seeing. On a daily basis, I’m hearing or reading stories about pedestrian safety put at risk.
I am requesting that LPS places some consideration into a full on, hard core blitz of poor and dangerous driving in this city in an effort to enforce the message that drivers need to follow the rules of the road. I’m fed up with thinking that each day when I leave my home, I may die, despite my own efforts to travel safely. I appreciate that resources may be limited and that other issues become a priority, but pedestrian safety needs to be a addressed. Too many close calls out here.
Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,
Gerald LaHay
London, ONT

Enough is enough. I encourage everyone affected by this issue to do the same. Reach out to your councillor, the Police Services. Maybe, just maybe, we can see some action.

And while I’m at it, I’ve been lobbying for a pedestrian crossover on Oxford between Colborne and Adelaide and this request through Phil Squire and the City has been moving at a snail’s pace. I’m asking everyone who is on board with this to email Phil Squire (psquire@london.ca) and Arielle Kayabaga (akayabaga@london.ca) to demand/request an expedited review and installation of the crossover. Its dangerous out here folks!

My Christmas Wish List

Letter to Santa

Many of us have a Christmas Wish List. It goes back to our letters to Santa when we were kids. Here is my letter to Santa for 2019:

Hi Santa,

Hope all is well in your world. Please pass along my best wishes to your better half and to your hard working team. I believe I’ve been a good boy this year, but others may say differently-you’ll have to ask those who blocked me on social media as they’ll probably disagree.  Anyways, here is my annual wish list. Do your best if you can:

Christmas Fruit Cake: there can never be enough fruitcake. 

An “edit” button on Twitter.

A year where I don’t lose anymore legs-I’ve already lost two, but you never know.

A snowless year so that we can get around safely in our city.

The ability to cross a street without you know, dying.

That more men stand up as allies with the women in our world who face abuse, discrimination and misogyny each and everyday. We need to stand up and say “enough!” 

A bit more kindness and respect during debate. We’re getting a tad too feisty these days. Enough of the “OK Boomer” nonsense. You know exactly what I mean.

That we find a way to deal with our drug addiction, mental health and homelessness crisis. Our neighbours need our help.

Love to see the Leafs win the Cup soon. Hasn’t happened since I was a baby. Time is running out for this guy….

Try and get more people to embrace the tastiness of raisins as well as bologna and grilled cheese sandwiches made with Cheese Whiz.

My hope is that London City Council finds a way to balance fiscal responsibility without cutting services that are needed by Londoners.

An endless supply of PC West Coast Blend coffee, on sale at Shoppers every day!

That the last Star Wars movie is excellent

That I have the courage to remain pantsless.

That perhaps, a few more folks purchase my books. (Available at amazon.ca- search Gerald LaHay….don’t you just hate shameless plugs)

That my friends, who have been so supportive of me during the past year, enjoy happiness, great health and that they STOP putting ketchup on meatloaf.

Thank you Santa!

Love Gerry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Kindness- John Hassan

Some of you may already know John. Some of you may remember him from his Twitter days as “@scubaguy” before he decided enough was enough of this social media nonsense.

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John is the pantsless, good looking dude with the CBC T- Shirt

I met John a few years ago when he was planning a Poetry and Politics event prior to the 2014 Municipal Election. One day, while on duty with the Fire Department, John had one of his trucks parked at the Fair. Now I’m a big kid at heart. John turns to me and says “wanna sit in it?” Like any big kid, I jumped into the driver’s seat-bucket list item fulfilled.

Fast forward to Oct 2017. I’m in hospital, the beginning of a two year battle to save my leg. I’m sleeping soundly in my hospital bed, kind of doped up. I awaken to see John sitting beside me, very quietly. I was surprised to say the least and asked him why he didn’t wake me. John said I probably needed the rest. He just showed up to visit a friend in the hospital….how incredible is that?

John is the kind of guy who continues to display what “Kindness Matters” means. I announced that I was somewhat officially retired and who shows up with a gift? John. He’s the first to support my writing, works tirelessly for our community and is an all round kind person. He works behind the scenes, promoting local politicians, supporting the Red Scarf campaign or showing his love for local businesses. He loves his decadent desserts and now has me trying different places.

One day, during my book signing, John not only showed up to buy a couple of my books, but he also had a gift my form my chef pal, Nadine- a CBC Cheese/Cutting Board. Random, thoughtful and wonderfully kind. A few days later, I show up at the CBC to do an interview and what do I see-a copy of my book that John had bought and has now given to the CBC Team.

John loves our city, is a huge supporter of public transit and, after many discussions, has left me with lots of food for thought. If anything, John has made me stop and pause to think about the kind of person I want to me. Part of me is modelled after John. I try and “be like John”, respectful, care, passionate about London and kinder to people. His long career as a firefighter came to end and I’m not sure I ever thanked him for his service to our community. So John, thank you. You are a terrific role model, a kind community person and a great friend. And yes, after the new year, once I’m walking, I still owe you lunch!

 

Accessibility is an Afterthought

Heard an interesting line the other day while attending the Accessibility Advisory Committee. Once of the members, while discussing changes to London’s Master Plan document, observed that accessibility is only mentioned once. He then stated “Accessibility is an afterthought.” Here we are, a few days later, and this sentence is still stuck in my head. Its been at the forefront of my brain as I go about my daily business. The more I consider this line, the more I have to agree with it. Society seems to have placed accessibility in the back seat, not in our daily thinking or activities. Some examples:

Was in the Starbucks on Richmond next to Joe Kools the other day. It a smaller location, but nonetheless, I should be able to navigate in my wheelchair. No problem getting in, great service and all. As I turned to put some stuff in my Pike’s Blend, a woman’s cart was blocking access. I politely asked her to move it so I could pass. She glared at me, got into a huff, packed up her stuff and stormed out.

Was in Rexall on Friday to pick up some antibiotics. Every…single….aisle….had an impulse purchase display or two in the way. My wheelchair is small, so I could barely slip by. what happens if someone has a bigger chair or walker. or is blind?

Exited the same Rexall to find this:

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I know, probably “mountain out of a mole hill” thing. But not really. How are folks with accessibility issues to get around the cart. The front door to return the cart is 10 feet away.

Saw this the other day-something I see all too frequently when I’m out and about. No words are needed to describe this concern.

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I’m trying to understand why accessibility isn’t a priority. Is it that we’re so wrapped up in our daily lives that we don’t take a moment to be considerate? Do some believe that those with disabilities aren’t as important as everyone else? Do we simply not give a damn since it doesn’t really impact our lives? According to the CHMA

Almost 14 percent of the Canadian population aged 15 years or older – or 3.8 million individuals – reported a difficulty or impairment due to a long-term condition or health problem that limited their daily activities.
The prevalence of disability increased with age, with the average onset age in early 40s.

Obviously, not all of the 3.8 million disabilities are all related to physical disabilities. However there are a large number of Canadians, and by extension, Londoners, who do have a physical disability. Yet, as citizens we don’t consider this as we live our lives. On an institutional level, I believe many don’t consider disabilities in their companies and organizations until they are faced with dealing with someone with a disability. A reaction instead of prevention so to speak.

I’m not suggesting that accessibility should be at the top of everyone’s mind, however, I am suggesting that we make this topic a higher priority than we do. As a person with disabilities, I strive to be independent. With a little more forethought and consideration, we can achieve barrier free access. How about we show a little love to ALL of our neighbours?

To those who have made accessibility a priority in your daily lives, thank you. You do make a difference and this needs to be acknowledged.

Kindness and Christmas

Its here again….the silly season-Christmas. The time of year where many get stressed, lose a sense of reality or just get plain wacky or cranky. A moment of pause before we dive in. Some thoughts on how to make the season just a little bit more enjoyable thereby reducing the sadness or stress.

ITS NOT ABOUT THE PRESENTS

The season shouldn’t be about stressing out about present buying, especially if money is a little tight. For many, this is a reality, causing some to slip into depression or spending what they don’t have. The season is about so much more. If people in your life are getting upset a lack of a present or how little you spent, maybe consider whether they should be in your world. Christmas should be about happiness, friends and family, Christmas cake and togetherness. Its hard to make the decision to not go overboard or spending what you can’t afford, but do what you can, what makes you happy and leave it at that.

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BE NICE

We make the season unbearable when we forget to exercise patience and kindness, especially when shopping. So what do we do? We take it out on the retail and service workers, who are busting their butts to serve insufferable jerks. We make it a habit of mistreating these hardworking souls. Hey, here’s an idea: let me come to your place of work and lose it on you for no reason. Sounds fun huh? Thought not. Lay off these great people. And hey- say thank you once in a while. Be an ass some other time of the year.

CHARITIES AND DONATIONS

Christmas seems be the time of year when need is most prevalent. So many amazing charities are asking for our help. At times, we want to give to them all, but simply can’t. Its tough to say no. If you want to give, but can’t afford it, consider giving a couple of hours of your time. Volunteers are always needed. Not only will you be helping, but its a great way to feel good. And, if you can, buy a coffee for someone who can’t afford it. A simple cup of coffee can make someone’s day!

RELAX!

Take some time for yourself. Watch a cheesy Hallmark movie or a movie of your choice. Eat some chocolate. Do whatever you have to do to look after you.

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SKIP THE BIG FAMILY DINNER IF YOU HAVE TO

We’ve experienced that big family dinner that eventually leads to so and so fighting with someone. The dinners are a ton of work and can be exhausting. Take a break this year. Enjoy your own little dinner with your kids and partner. Sit around in your jammies or that really tacky sweater all day. Taking a year off can be a good thing.

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE

Christmas parties. Office get-togethers. Spontaneous hook ups with friends. Forget the car. Take a cab, ride a bus, call a friend or a family member to pick you up. Don’t put others at risk because you choose to make a deadly decision.

VISIT A FRIEND

Take a moment to visit a friend, especially one who may be spending the season alone. Nothing can make one smile more than sitting down over a coffee and some cookies….especially some homemade ones. This kind of kindness lasts all year long.

The most important things to do during this season is too slow down, pace yourself, don’t over do it…..and be nice. Lets get through this season as happy and content as possible. You’ll enjoy the season so much better. I know I do….

Another Kindness Tale

Back in 2009, I started my run as Director of Food and Beverage Sales at the RBC Centre in Sarnia. We provided service for the Sarnia Sting games, as well as various special events, such as Jerry Seinfeld, Blue Man Group and more. This is where I met Brenda Atmore….and the Atmore clan.

Brenda was one of our part time staff, pouring beer in Concession Five, the busiest concession in the arena. Brenda was a stalwart in the arena, known to customers and a great mentor for the kids that worked in this concession. I don’t go to work to make friends, I’m there to do a job. Of course I try to be friendly and respectful, but as a leader, I tried to keep a professional tone while I was at work. As my time at the arena continued, I realized what a special person Brenda was…

Yep, like any employee/employer relationship, there are the odd, not so pleasant moments. Of course, it was not different between Brenda and I. Both of us are strong willed and on occasion, we disagreed. What struck me about Brenda was her customer service and work ethic. However, these qualities are second to her dedication to family. The Atmore family is, well, the type of family we all dream about-I know I do. Each and every member of this family, from Brenda’s husband Rob, to their three daughters, Lauren, Lindsay and Sam, their incredible partners and absolutely gorgeous grandchildren, are special and incredibly kind people.

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One night, we were running an MMA event at the arena and I underestimated how much these fans drank. We were quickly getting low on beer. This wouldn’t have been an issue had we not had a Sting game scheduled the next day at 2:00. I was in panic mode-its a Saturday night, I can’t get a beer delivery and a busy hockey game the next day. Brenda and Rob to the rescue. As the Beer Store is opening Sunday morning, Rob and Brenda picked up $3000 worth of beer and delivered it to the arena. They saved the day and I’m not sure they realized how much their efforts were appreciated.

In October 2016, I was invited to dinner at Brenda’s daughter’s and partner’s home (Lindsay and Korey) for Thanksgiving dinner. I was welcomed, wheelchair and all so warmly, like I was a member of the family. Such a kind moment that I can never, ever forget. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and the Atmores are absolute proof of that-kind, generous and loving.

Brenda is like a slightly older sister. She is a proud wife, mom and grandmother. She is the kind of person we would all be fortunate to know. Brenda checks in with me regularly, is one of the first to buy one of my lousy books (yes Brenda! Bloody Brothers is coming soon…I promise!) Her friendship means so much to this cranky bastard. The world is a better place because of Brenda and her fantastic family.

I don’t know if I’ve said this enough: Thank you Brenda. I love you Big Sister!

I Was Wrong- A Kindness Post

There are so many good people out there, doing their thing, helping others, quietly going about their business. Most get unrecognized or rewarded. Here is a story about one of those people:

Back in my younger days, I knew everything and was never ever wrong. End of story right there-right? Nope.

I’ve discovered as the years pass along, I was wrong on so many occasions. Maybe as the hair gets greyer, I become wiser? I don’t know, but wanted to share this story about how wrong I was one time.

Meet Mike Vanderhoeven. Some of you have met Mike at our Pantsless Breakfast Clubs. Years and years ago, during my younger Assistant Manager days at Dominos, I was transferred to the Wharncliffe Road store. Mike was one of the veteran drivers there and I was told to “leave him alone”-Mike had his own style. Me, being an arrogant and cocky bastard-AND a manager, I was determined that Mike would do things my way. One day, Mike was pissing me off and I used a line both of us will never forget: “There’s only room for one asshole around here and that’s me!”. Eventually, Mike and I parted ways.

Here we are, many years later and Mike and I reconnected. This is also when I came to the realization as to how wrong I was way back in the early 90’s. Mike is an incredible dude. Now, no one should ever have to continue to show kindness in order to be liked or accepted, but here is a guy who may be one of the kindest people I’ve known in my life. Not only has Mike forgiven me for being such a dick back in our pizza slinging days, but continues to show what a terrific person he really is.

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Mike was one of the first to visit one of my business ventures a few years ago. One day, I was in a coffee shop writing and it was pouring out. I complained on Twitter about the weather and minutes later, I get a message from Mike offering to pick me up. When he comes to our Pantsless Breakfast, he brings humour, friendliness, great stories and such a wonderful personality.

The other day, my pal Nadine found herself with a dead battery in her car. Mike to the rescue! When Nadine tried to pay him for his time, he refused and suggested a donation to my charity. Wow.

Mike has taught me a few lessons along the way and reminds me that yep, there are times when we’re wrong. But, Mike has demonstrated that forgiveness and kindness are the keys to life. For this, I am grateful.

Thank you Mike!

Coffee with….Nadine Johnson

Nadine Johnson is my greatest friend. Weird considering the fact she doesn’t like raisins, bologna or fruit cake, cheers for the Habs and has never watched a single Star Wars movie. Yet here we are…..

Nadine may not be well known in this city, but I’m betting many of you have eaten her food at one point or another. Nadine is, quite frankly, one of the best chefs I’ve ever known. That’s high praise considering some of the talented chefs I know, such as Michael Coleby ( a food genius!). Nadine can go into anyone’s fridge, pull out the leftovers and make a masterpiece. Nadine is a member in good standing of the Pantsless Breakfast Club and can be found on Twitter as Chef NJ ( @Nadezhdajohn1).

Nadine, like so many of us, got into the food business by accident. The food and beverage business seems to always have positions available and its a way to pay the rent. Even Nadine is surprised. When she first got into it, as a line cook at the Kabuki House in North Bay, she hated it. Oh, she loved the different foods, but it was just a job and she got to eat for free.

Arriving in London, armed with a diploma in Journalism and finding very few jobs in her field, she turned back to food. Bills needed to be paid and she landed a job at the Boys and Girls Club, creating food for the Supper Club, a club where kids could pay $0.50 for a meal. Nadine and the team created foods from donations from the food bank. Nadine, as I’ve discovered, has a passion for kids, youth and mentoring.

After the Boys and Girls Club, Nadine spent some time working at the Tasting Room, a job that even to this day, she loved. The ability to create tasty, higher end dishes with flair is one of Nadine’s many talents. When I hired Nadine at the Western Fair as a Sous Chef, her energy and talent was quite evident early on. The Exec Chef had planned on taking Christmas off. This meant Nadine would be responsible for the Boxing Day Brunch, about 400 guests, but also New Year’s Eve…one of our biggest days of the year. 1000 guests to be fed in 3 different locations. we’re talking high end food. And she hit a grand slam.

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A few months later, I had to let our Chef go and Nadine was our first choice to be promoted. Her talents in the kitchen and her ability to build a strong team were the key reasons why she was promoted…..the first ever female chef at The Fair. Nadine says the biggest, most nerve wracking event was feeding 1500 guests at the LHSC Country Classic.

The cook world, according to Nadine, is a grind. Cooks are expected to be available around the clock, work ridiculous hours for lousy pay in some cases.  There is a true lack of loyalty in the industry, especially for female chefs. Although she feels the industry is getting better, there is still a sense of “its a man’s world” mentality. Currently, Nadine, while working three jobs, is enrolled in the Fanshawe Culinary Program as she works toward her Red Seal. This certification will give her a leg up for an Executive Chef’s position, which is even harder as a female chef.

Nadine loves her lamb…and let me tell you, wow, she is pure talent when cooking. As she continues on her journey, she like to spend more time mentoring youth, not only teaching culinary skills, but to also teach them the life lessons she learned on her own growing up in Northern Ontario. She’d like to see us all slow down a little, take care of ourselves and enjoy life as we go along. And a return to big kitchen parties…..where we all gather, cook together and enjoy each other’s company. I like the sounds of that!

Minimum Standard

John Parsons, the city’s manager of transportation and roadside operations “But, at the same time, we’re following a provincial standard, which would take in a lot of considerations when making it that standard.”

Parsons says it can take anywhere between 15 to 48 hours to clear the 1,570 kilometres of sidewalks that cover the city. He says crews go out with sidewalk plows, snow blowers and sand for slippery sidewalks. Source: CBC London

“Making it that standard”. That’s the line that concerned me in the CBC London story about unplowed city sidewalks. It gives one the sense that, as a city, we’re only shooting for the minimum here instead of working to ensure the highest standards. I learned a lesson a long time ago-minimum standards may be set by various entities, yet we have a responsibility to ensure “due diligence” and always aim for the highest standards.

As it relates to sidewalk plowing and ensuring barrier free access, due diligence isn’t being exercised nor does it appear to be a goal. I’m not just referring to access, but health and safety standards as well. Some folks have invisible disabilities and really struggle to walk on sidewalks coated with snow and ice. Able bodied people struggle as well. Risk management dictates that efforts must be made to minimize slips and falls on our sidewalks. I’d be interested to know how many people file complaints due to accidents with The City on an annual basis.

Years back, while at Western, we were subjected to a Ministry of Labour Workwell Audit due to the high number of workplace accidents we were experiencing. In the foodie world, slips and falls are the number one risk. During this year long, intensive audit, while we thought as a department we were doing a great job “meeting the standards”. In fact we were, but there is an expectation that companies endeavour to far exceed standards. Once this audit was complete, we were not just compliant-we were far more advanced in our health and safety than every before. It was all about the “due diligence.”

Food safety is another example. Government and ministries set standards. Health Units visit and we scored Green each and every time. However, we were just meeting standards. One thing led to another and we had a food poisoning on our hands. Even though we were considered one of the best food handling companies in the city, it happened. The Health Unit and Health Canada stated that, although we were doing a great job, we needed to raise the bar several rungs….again, “due diligence.”

Whether you agree or not, The City of London is a business. They have a responsibility to exercise due diligence. Simply waiting for 8 cms of snow to fall and then go out and maybe plow some sidewalks falls far short of diligence. The City, for the most does an admirable job on our roads, and this makes sense given the number of cars on our roads. However, our sidewalks, or to state it differently, pedestrians are not given priority. Hell, the TVP gets plowed before major sidewalks.

We’ve seen time and time again the lack of emphasis on sidewalk safety. Whether its poor access in summer due to construction, shoddy design or repair of sidewalks, pedestrians nearly being hit at intersections or the inability to traverse sidewalks safely in winter, there is a severe lack of due diligence on the part of our City. This needs to change. If we are to promote an active city, it starts with sidewalks……..

Sidewalk Users Matter

I never imagined when I lived in my own house in Byron that I would, years later, not matter anymore. Living on Griffith St, car centric and paying my fair share of taxes along the way, I mattered. Now, as a lowly renter and missing two legs, I no longer matter? WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL???

Got news for you, I still pay taxes and I, along with all sidewalk users matter. We are part of this community, contribute greatly in our own way and are as important as everyone else. When did I lose status as a citizen….when I gave up my car? I can’t dispute that London is car centric….look how many of them are on the roads. I completely understand the need to keep roads in good shape, especially in the winter months. Not only do we need to keep the cars safe, but access to public transit is also critical for the 1000’s that can’t, won’t or don’t drive. Hence the need to for a barrier free network of sidewalks.

With over 1500 kms of sidewalks in London, its a big job. However, a basic need, active transportation, isn’t being met daily, not just during the snowy season. Sidewalks are continually blocked by vehicles, garbage and recycling bins, snow, repairs and construction and very few seem to care. I have written and spoken about this before. I’ve contacted our city council, yet it all falls on deaf ears.

I’m not dumping on the staff who plow our city streets and sidewalks. They work their butts off and follow the direction given. I am also aware the London City Council has revised policy for the next budget cycle. I do not believe the snow removal benchmarks will be enough. 2-4 cms of snow, once compressed makes travel by wheelchair almost impossible-like trying to wheel across a hockey rink.

Am I simply being a whiner? I don’t believe so. From parents setting an example by walking their young ones to school, to students, to the elderly and to those with disabilities, sidewalk access has proven to be of very low priority in this city. You want me to the bus? Sorry, can’t, sidewalks are closed or snow covered. And when did a “snow packed” sidewalk become acceptable? According to the City, this is the accepted standard. Snow packed is NOT ACCEPTABLE since it cannot be maneuvered by a wheelchair. So, wheelchair users, stay home. For six months a year, it doesn’t matter if you have to go to work, see a doctor, shop, attend a volunteer gig-we’ll see you in the spring. I’ve created the hashtag #heldhostageathome

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I saw tweets the other day that the City was ensuring the TVP and bike lanes were to be plowed. Why the hell are sidewalks not included in this, especially those on bus routes? Sure, I suppose if I was able bodied on two legs, I’d manage. I did before. Well, I’m not….even on two prosthetics, its a risk. There are more disabled folks in London than most know. We’re trying to encourage everyone to take a time out from cars and get active, year round, yet we’re not making it easier.

A few tweeters encouraged the public to lend a hand and shovel the sidewalks around their homes and businesses. This is admirable. Now, consider if you were encouraged to plow the road in front of your property? The outrage would be immeasurable. We expect, no, DEMAND clear roads, yet do not expect the same for sidewalks. This needs to change. And the overall attitude towards sidewalks needs to change.

Take a moment to consider doing some of the following:

  • shovel the sidewalks around your property
  • Ensure that when the plow person has plowed your driveway, they don’t leave a little mountain of snow across the sidewalk
  • If you have an accessible ramp, make sure its clear year round. One business on Oxford E closes their ramp in winter. Um, what?
  • remove empty garbage and recycling bins as soon as you can
  • don’t park on a sidewalk
  • Lobby your city councillor to encourage them to support accessible sidewalk networks and demand bylaw enforcement for infractions
  • Report any sidewalk concerns (closed sidewalks without proper closure signs) to the city via es@london.ca
  • don’t block ramps or handicapped parking

Fairly simply, but small considerations make a world of difference. I’ve created a new petition ( Sidewalk Access ), please consider signing. Until we become 100% barrier free access, I’ll keep pushing. In the meantime, if the city wants to buy me one of these, I’d be happy to help.

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