Pedestrians forced to take to the streets (and possibly penalized for it!)

"Gatineau residents will be walking in the streets until the end of winter because the city has given up on plowing sidewalks.

The city says there's simply too much snow for them to remove, so they will be plowing the snow that has been clogging streets since the weekend onto the sidewalks."
- Ottawa Sun, March 13, 2008

However, in a separate article in “La Revue” (March 12, 2008 edition) Gatineau Police have announced that they will be ticketing pedestrians that they consider to be unsafely walking in the streets.

While I understand the role of Police in ensuring safety for the citizenry of Gatineau, this seems like a bit of a cash grab. I think Police should be enforcing on-street parking regulations and ticketing cars that are parked in already narrowed streets, where those cars create a dangerous situation for drivers and pedestrians - especially on main roads and near schools.

As an example, on-street parking on Boulevard de la Cite has effectively narrowed the street width to one lane. On 2 occasions this week alone, traffic has been backed up along this street as only one car can pass at a time. The focus could also be in areas near schools where children are forced to walk on the street, and on-street parking makes it difficult for one car to pass in certain areas, let alone a car and a pedestrian.

While I hope next winter won’t present similar problems, hopefully city council will enact legislation that protects pedestrians rather than penalizes them. Ticketing poor pedestrians forced to take to the roads because of winter weather while not enforcing things that have been shown to save lives (like mandatory bike helmet laws) seems a bit hypocritical to me.