Implementing Heated Sidewalks, Its Benefits And Impact On The Safety Of The Citizens
The snow melting system will use a weather proof sensor to detect the snow/ice and adjust the heat to 4◦C at the affected areas to counteract the conditions at maximum efficiency. According to a report by Toronto Public Health, around 30, 000 people went to the emergency room due to slipping or falling on ice. These slips and falls cost the city about $6. 7 million per year in liability claims costing the healthcare system $4 million annually of taxpayer’s money. Slips and falls are unforeseen circumstances that can occur at any moment during a snowfall. Not only is the HSPP is a counter measure to this inconvenience, but also improves safety and living conditions for our beloved Torontonians.
Benefits of heated sidewalks
The Heated Sidewalk Pilot Project eliminates daily winter hazards by using a snow melt system which greatly improves the quality of living in Toronto especially for the elderly.
- Reduced injury: Winters are getting colder and weather conditions are becoming more extreme, which entails to the severity of the injuries. Annually, a $4 million burden of taxpayers’ money is being claimed by preventable injuries. Implementing the HSPP will allow the city to increase public safety issues and use taxpayers’ money into more valuable resources.
- Snow Removal Costs: “Canadians spend over $1 billion annually on winter maintenance to keep roads”. City of Toronto alone uses 26% of the budget for de-icing using salt which is $260 million. Furthermore, clearing driveways and sidewalks take $4 million (Transportation Association of Canada, 2018). Most these costs will be drastically reduced as they will no longer be needed.
- Environmental Benefit: Millions of tonnes of salt is used to de-ice roadways and sidewalks in Canada each year. Salt does not just go away when the ice is gone instead; it dissolves into Sodium and Chloride and washes away into ground water supplies. With HSPP the accumulation of chloride is reduced, and Toronto citizens will have cleaner water supply and the sea life surrounding Toronto will not be exposed to chloride pollution.
- Improved Health: Humans by nature are social beings and Toronto is a lively city. During the winter period, many become prisoners of their own homes due to fear of injury, this isolation is mentally draining. The HSPP will allow Torontonians to walk regularly and enjoy a social environment. This is especially convenient for seniors and people with disabilities as being outdoors is a healthy physical and mental behaviour.