A former regional councillor is calling on the City of Waterloo to clear snow and ice from walkways leading to a network of trails.
Jane Mitchell made the appeal after her husband slipped and fell on one of the unmaintained paths.
"He scraped the side of his head and hurt his arm and this is a continuing problem with this walkthrough," Mitchell said. "My concern, and it's been a concern for a long time, is that the city doesn't maintain these."
A sign at the walkway says "no winter maintenance." The City said those sings have been in place for years and are typically located in areas that aren't heavily used or where winter maintenance isn't possible.
A spokesperson said the walkway has never been maintained and is too narrow for vehicles, but said officials will explore other options.
"Many pathways in the city are located through environmentally sensitive areas," the spokesperson said in a statement. "They are open for winter use, but cannot be maintained as traditional sidewalk/trails as we cannot use salt, or the trail itself is not conducive to plowing. This could relate to limited access or surface materials which cannot support our snow removal equipment. In other locations, there may be another trail in close proximity and both are not needed."
"There's a lot of people, there's a lot of dog walkers, there's a lot of seniors, there's children when school's in," Mitchell said.
Mitchell said she's brought her concerns to city council before.
"It's too expensive, is the response," she said.
This time, she posted about it on social media and it caught the attention of Coun. Jen Vasic.
"I'm very glad to know of the problem, so that as strategies and plans come forward this year, I will have a fuller picture of some of the further opportunities for making the city easier and safer to get around through all seasons," a statement from Vasic said in part.
There's also a patch of ice on the sidewalk in front of the walkway. City officials said they're responsible for that sidewalk.
"Everybody on my street has done their walk, but the city hasn't," Mitchell said.
Officials said they will follow up, but Mitchell would like the city to change its current policy.
"I think there are ways around it," she said. "I know Kitchener downtown had men from House of Friendship come and do shovelling as well and gave them an amount and I think it can be done."
The City of Kitchener said sidewalk shovelling is the responsibility of the property owner. They need to clear snow within 24 hours. Officials said multi-use trails are only cleared of snow if they have concrete or asphalt surfaces.
"We maintain many trails during the winter, but not all," Kitchener's website said.
Cambridge officials said they clear and maintain the areas as much as possible.