Could Heated Sidewalks Be Part of New Downtown Plan?

heated sidewalks

Could heated sidewalks be part of the Downtown reconstruction that is planned to get underway this Summer? Two Sault Ste. Marie councillors are pitching the idea.

Ward 3 Angela Caputo is presenting the idea at this Monday’s regular city council meeting It is seconded by Ward 1 Sonny Spina.

The downtown revitalization is slated to be done this construction season which will include new sidewalks from Bruce Street to East Street; part of the objective of the downtown revitalization is to rejuvenate Queen Street as a year-round main hub for locals and tourists to enjoy reads the motion.

Some of the major barriers that Sault Ste Marie’s downtown face are winter-related, such as poor access and visibility to storefronts due to growing snow banks and hard to clear sidewalks. Caputo says clear sidewalks would allow safer commutes for pedestrians, allow citizens to remain active in an outdoor setting year round, as well as providing much needed access for anyone with accessibility issues. The first -time councillors agree that the use of large quantities of salt to control winter conditions has caused concern for the health of the Great Lakes and cities around the world with harsh winters have successfully implemented and maintained heated sidewalks, such as Reykjavik, Iceland; Edmonton, Alberta; and Holland Michigan.

The City has budgeted approximately $18 million for the entire Downtown Queen Street project. The project will be done in two or three phases.

Caputo said in her motion, that cities have cited that their heated sidewalks save their communities money by reducing the number of slip and falls, eliminating the need to sand, salt and plow, and reduce the damage caused by frost heave and snowplows, therefore extending the life of the sidewalks.

“Quality of life is an identified strategic pillar for The Corporation of The City of Sault Ste Marie and it is imperative that our winters be made as bearable as possible for our citizens by providing safe, walkable areas for citizens to be able to remain active and to enjoy all that our downtown has to offer”

The motion calls for City staff be requested to report back to council with the cost of implementing and maintaining heated sidewalks from Bruce Street to East Street; and that staff compare best practices used in areas that have successfully implemented these systems and include any viable possibilities within the report and that a cost analysis of average expenditures on sidewalk repairs, slip and falls, sidewalk plowing, snow clearing and sanding and salting all be presented to council within the report.

7 thoughts on “Could Heated Sidewalks Be Part of New Downtown Plan?

  1. Just like the morons at city hall to throw a whole bunch more good money after bad.
    They need to accept the fact that downtown core died a long time ago and will only get worse as the rampant crime and drug problems triples on account of all of the homeless criminals, fentanyl and heroin dealers, the criminal mentally challenged, transients and a staggering number of hard core junkies.
    More merchants every day are locking their doors during business hours to try and cut down on the incessant thefts and are ready to shut down.
    A $16,000.00 New Years ball downtown??
    Enough of this stupidity.

  2. Heated sidewalks will NOT help accessibility. The store owners already keep the front of their places clean. Changing the way Queen is now, will reduce parking and accessibility to store fronts for people. Clean up the streets. Bring business back down there instead of up at the north end of the city. The north end is where things are booming and things are open later. The downtown is a ghost town after 4 unless there is an event.

  3. I am just wondering if our tent city is going to move onto Queen St in the middle of winter so they can also keep warm? Welcome to Sault Junkie Marie.

  4. Perfect our tent city will be moved onto Queen St where they can keep warm in the dead of winter. Welcome to Sault Junkie Marie…

  5. All the efforts of the city to reduce carbon footprint and they propose this ? Sure there is the melting effect but that is such a large amount of energy to provide that.

    We’re not geothermal like Iceland is and a far harsher winter than Holland MI.

  6. Quit beating that dead downtown horse, forget about it and do what REALLY MATTERS for the city. You know what the issues are, quit ignoring them or trying to sweep them under the rug. It will only come back to bite you tenfold.

  7. Downtown will never be the same until they put police FOOT PATROLS into action. It worked for years. It’s time to revisit proven ideas.

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