Keeping stairways clear a challenge

Diane Crocker
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Plowing city streets given top priority, says Luther

CORNER BROOK — Getting around Corner Brook with all the snow that’s fallen in the last couple of weeks can be tricky for motorists and pedestrians alike.

But for people who use the 11 public stairways spread out over the city it can be downright impossible.

Rayna Luther, the city’s assistant director of operational services, said maintaining these stairways is the responsibility of the city and that includes keeping them clear of snow.

However, the steps do take a backseat to other priority snowclearing efforts, like plowing the city’s streets.

“I can’t really put a time limit on it,” said Luther. “We do clear them in the winter as we have people available.”

Luther said the stairways, including one on Hospital Hill, three on the westside and seven in Curling, were originally put in for easier access to those areas.

She doesn’t know how much use they get nowadays, but said for the one or two people that do use them they are very important.

But with the snow that’s fallen, she said it could take a bit of time to get someone out to clear them.

Luther noted a closed sign posted on the stairway connecting Birchy Cove Drive to Woodcrest Drive was not placed there because of the snow on the steps.

Luther said this stairway was closed for safety reasons after workers noticed that the railings were in poor condition.

She said the plan is to reopen the stairway, but it depends on when the city can get back to do the repairs.

“To get a full assessment of them we’d like for the snow to melt away from them so we can see exactly what we’re dealing with, rather than just patch them up and have them open again. We want to be able to check all the stair treads and the rails.”

For that reason, Luther doesn’t expect that stairway to open again before spring, unless a mild spell occurs to permit the work.

Meanwhile, the city has added a feature to its website providing some answers to the most frequently asked snowclearing questions.

“We’re using it as an educational piece, so hopefully it might reduce some of the complaints calls that we’re getting by getting that information out there,” said Luther.

City stairways:

— Hospital Hill

— Gibbons Avenue to Golden Glow

— Stratton’s Road to Webster Place

— Cabot Lane to Broadway

— Birchy Cove Drive to Woodcrest Drive

— Near 48 Birchy Cove Drive

— Quigley Place to Joyce Place

— Brosnan Street to Basha Place

— Brosnan Street to Curling Street

— Curling Street to O’Briens Lane

— Curling Street to Leggo’s Avenue

Source: City of Corner Brook

Organizations: Hospital Hill

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Webster Place, Broadway Woodcrest Quigley Place

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Recent comments

    January 10, 2013 - 06:44

    Not nice to expect folks receiving welfare benefits to pick up a shovel & pitch in to help out the community. Might offend their delicate sensitivities. Never mind the fact that it's how Cape Breton came into having the gorgeous scenic Cabot Train. Welfare receipients were put to work in its building to give them something constructive to do instead of just sitting around & dwelling on their plight. I don't get relief from paying taxes, which goes to pay the benefits. Hey! Friend, will ya give me a hand trying to get through the snow?

  • Melvin Ellsworth
    January 09, 2013 - 20:52

    Think about it, Whats wrong with all the young people on (ui) or welfare around the city and area. Come on get those guys off their butts and put a shovel in their hands.

    • Devil's Advocate
      January 10, 2013 - 10:04

      Maybe some of the 100 year old city workers who got to stop for a 3 minute rest on their shovels after every toss should retire. Pass their jobs on to the younger people. I have never been witness to a place that constantly attacks their youth, like Corner Brook. All those young people you are referring to keep moving away anyways, I wonder why.

  • Cb gal
    January 09, 2013 - 20:46

    City workers around here don't seem to do much!

  • Mrs. Clause
    January 09, 2013 - 19:15

    Corner Brook has an abundance of untapped labour sitting around all day with nothing to do except wait for their cheque. If we gave these people a shovel I'm sure all the steps and walkways in the city would be snow free.

  • ex-CBer
    January 09, 2013 - 19:15

    The crowd running that place can't even shovel out a few stairways for pedestrians? Looks like CB is really going down the tubes. And David is right about those bomb-craters for roads, chronically devoid of lane paint. Absolutely ridiculous, must be a painful embarassment to have tourists visit the place when it's in such a deplorable state. Unfortunately the creeping entropy that has bedeviled CB in the last decade or so seems to have become acute in recent years. In retrospect I'm glad I got out of there when I did.

  • david
    January 09, 2013 - 13:36

    If they can't fix a pothole, or paint lines on the roads until August, or plow roads after a snowstorm, it can hardly be worth the effort to mention getting stairs shoveled. Welcome ot Corner Brook, where winter amounts to 4-months of civic paralysis. By the way, your taxes just went up again...turns out that shovelling the steps of City Hall is now a 4-man job.

  • Keith Cormier
    January 09, 2013 - 11:47

    I can't vouch for the walkways in the west end of the city, but the steps and underpass at Hospital hill and the Lewin Parkway is heavly used 12 months of the year. To suggest otherwise is to be unaware and ill informed.

  • George
    January 09, 2013 - 11:14

    Looks like the stairway shown in the picture has not been cleared this year.Perhaps the city has to to do a study to see how many people ars using it.I suspect Mr.spring will look after it.

  • Angela Baker
    January 09, 2013 - 10:46

    Accept winter's difficulties & walk a different route. I live in curling area & it takes a little longer to walk around but it is not impossible.

  • Shawn
    January 09, 2013 - 09:52

    If I fail to clear my stairs or walkway and someone uses it and gets injured, I'm open to a civil suit for damages. If a business fails to clear their steps and someone uses it and gets injured, they are open to a civil suit for damages. If the city fails to clear their steps and someone uses it and gets injured...

  • mainlander
    January 09, 2013 - 09:43

    What kind of answer is this? We are not doing our job, we don't have the resources to do it and we don't want to be called or bothered about it. Sounds like Ms Luther has settled into her government job nicely. Unfortunately because of her public statement accepting responsibilty (on behalf of the City) for the stairs being cleared she has left the City open for a law suit if someone gets hurt and has the smarts to sue the City.