Sliding from side to side, vehicles, cyclists, people walking and yes, even your pets, are at risk on these slippery, icy roads and sidewalks.
Due to these dangerous conditions, many people are forced to walk on the side of the sidewalk or parts of the roads that are less icy. Some people have been seen to be holding on to buildings to keep themselves from falling.
Older folks with osteoporosis and other disabling conditions are at high risk of falling and hurting themselves during this time.
Some people have been kind enough to help others walk along these treacherous roads and sidewalks.
Yet, what about those who do not have any help or grips on their boots, or who are low income and can’t afford special boots for these conditions? They may not even have anyone to call in many situations, leaving them vulnerable and likely to freeze if they can’t get up after a fall.
Some cyclists say drivers are not being mindful of those who ride their bikes in this weather. This pushes cyclists off the icy roads, making for a risky situation where they ride along sidewalks instead.
This can create issues between cyclists and pedestrians, and raises the risk of receiving a ticket from police for bike riding on sidewalks. Either way, it’s challenging for cyclists to make their way in these conditions. (To be fair, drivers are busy navigating slippery roads, so they may haphazardly pay little attention to cyclists).
Thankfully, city crews have been out salting and sanding roads and sidewalks to help keep Winnipeggers safe.
On the lighter side, many kids in school playgrounds love this kind of weather. They can be seen during recess and lunch time enjoying all the ice and snow to sled through and play around in.
School patrols are making extra effort to ensure kids of all ages make it across the street safely. These young monitors warn pedestrians about slippery conditions. They take special care to make sure kids are mindful of the traffic and of ways to keep warm and safe. Most patrols have a great rapport with children and pets as they wait at the corner to cross the road.
Extra measures are being taken to ensure pets are being dressed up to go outside so that their little paws are kept warm and do not freeze. Many people don’t notice when their pets are cold and are unaware of their animal’s need to be kept warm and safe from slipping all over icy roads and sidewalks.
Do your best to protect yourself and take time to help others who look like they are having a hard time walking on the ice. This will make you and the other person stable, as well as make each other feel good that you have helped those in need during this busy time of the year.
Be careful out there and play safe. Always wear your gloves and some decent winter boots to keep yourself warm and cozy.
All photos by Marie LeBlanc