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Too lazy to shovel your sidewalk? Local woman in wheelchair who fell says you need to do your part

Last Updated Feb 14, 2019 at 12:53 pm PDT

A man shovels snow from a Vancouver sidewalk on Feb. 14, 2019. (Monika Gul, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

Woman who has been essentially housebound since the snow started falling says she had a fall in New Westminster

'Both wheels on one side fell off the sidewalk and I ended up hanging off the sidewalk'

'You could be saving someone's life': Woman in a wheelchair urges people to shovel snow or report dangerous areas

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) – Going out in the cold with your shovel isn’t always the most fun way to spend your free time, but a woman in a wheelchair is asking you to do your part after experiencing a fall in New Westminster.

The woman also says she has been unable to get to work all week.

RELATED: Slippery, snowy sidewalks and roads ahead of more wintry weather

Micaela Evans has been essentially housebound in Port Moody since the snow came down. But yesterday while in New Westminster, she suffered a bad fall while going into the street to avoid a sidewalk covered with snow.

“I was trying to find a way to get off the sidewalk because all of the driveways where cars were driving, they didn’t bother to plow onto the street. There was no way to take a driveway to get off the sidewalk. Then the curb cut wasn’t plowed, either,” she told NEWS 1130.

“If there hadn’t been a snowbank, I would have … probably smashed my head.”

She says one of the tires on her wheelchair slipped in the icy conditions.

“I couldn’t even see where the edge of the sidewalk was because there was so much snow. I just had to try and gauge where I was. Sliding, I fell off. Both wheels on one side fell off the sidewalk and I ended up hanging off the sidewalk, which was pretty scary.”

Evans says she was lucky there was a large snowbank that stopped her. “I didn’t fall over completely. If there hadn’t been a snowbank, I would have fallen sideways and probably smashed my head.”

She says a lot of people plow right in front of their houses, but don’t go all the way to the end of the curb.

“I’ve also come across a lot of sidewalks where people only plow enough for like, two feet to kind of shuffle through — rather than actually plowing the entire sidewalk.”

 

RELATED: Another snowfall warning for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

Although some people think it’s an inconvenience to shovel their sidewalk, it’s much more than that for Evans.

“I haven’t been able to get to work all week, which is incredibly frustrating. I’m really lucky … I can do a lot of it from home, which is very convenient. But a lot of people can’t do that if they have jobs where they need to be in an office.”

“You’re literally housebound because people don’t feel like shovelling.”

“Shovel or report when you see dangerous areas because you could be saving someone’s life.”

She’s also frustrated with how cities and other officials are handling the snow.

“This morning in Port Moody, I couldn’t get to a bus stop … I had to run, frantically, to the SkyTrain, which is about six blocks from my apartment … I had to pass three bus stops that I couldn’t get into because they didn’t plow to the sidewalk.”

“They just kind of packed the snow down so that people who are walking can just walk on top of it. But for folks who are using wheelchairs … I would have gotten stuck.”

She’s calling for better enforcement of by-laws requiring people to make sure the sidewalks in front of their homes are clear. But really, she’d just like you to do the right thing.

“Please do shovel or do report when you see dangerous areas because you could be saving someone’s life.”

 – With files from Hana Mae Nassar