Some cities are using technology to make snow removal a thing of the past. Heated roads and sidewalks are a common presence in some European cities. Montreal is planning on following suit by heating the main downtown street of Ste-Catherine’s in 2018.
The city of Holland, Michigan has been heating parts of the sidewalks and streets of their city (about 4.9 miles in total) since 1988. In total, the city has spent $8 million US the necessary infrastructure for the project. The annual cost to maintain the program is between $20,000 and $80,000 US, with contributions from downtown businesses that benefit from the streets and sidewalks being ice free. Nancy DeBoer, mayor of Holland, says that the cost is justifiable. The city doesn’t have to send plows into the downtown area, it has improved accessibility for people with disabilities, and made it easier to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about the slip and falls that are so common in winter time.
If you are out and about this winter, travelling on non-heated sidewalks and roadways, here’s a few tips on how walking like a penguin could help you stay upright and avoid injuries from ice and snow related slip and falls:
o Point your feet outwards
o Place your legs apart
o Walk flat footed and take small, short steps
o Use your arms for balance
o Wear sturdy footwear with good ankle support and slip resistant soles
o If you have items to carry, put them in a backpack so your arms are free to help protect you in case you do slip and fall
It’s certainly not the most graceful or attractive way to walk, but staying low and going slow may keep you upright. And as the video below points out, tens of millions of penguins can’t be wrong.