On Friday Nov. 22 my wife and I were doing some Christmas shopping, here in Okotoks. However, we were only partially successful. Our problem is we are older and my wife requires a ‘walker’ to get about.
Our excursion to downtown Okotoks was curtailed to the extent that breakfast at Sweetgrass and purchasing some stamps was the only shopping we did on Elizabeth/McRae St.
This was not the only risky area for us to get around, as most of the parking lots at the malls were less than easy to navigate. It’s interesting that an extra effort is not applied to the ‘Handicap Parking’ spots. Even the ‘Handicap’ pull-off at the Municipal Centre could use a bit more effort. The exceptions to the parking lots and handicap spots being Costco and Save-on Foods, where it appears they are putting in the extra effort.
The major problem downtown for us is, it is not easily ‘walkable’, the sidewalks have for the most part been cleared except the snow being carried onto it at the ramps into the parking areas in front of the stores.
Also, the snow scraped from the sidewalks and street is left in a ridge along the curb. This is also the case when using the Crosswalks, which requires manoeuvring through snow left behind during sidewalk and street scraping. When you have mobility issues it is not easy to get out of a vehicle and get over the ridge of snow. I would think for parents with children and strollers it is the same story.
My suggestion is the Town and those responsible for off-street parking lots, put a better effort into making the downtown more accessible and the malls around our community also put extra effort into clearing the snow, at least as well as Costco and Save-on Foods have done.
Particular attention should be paid to the ‘Handicap Parking’ and for spots identified for parents with young children. It’s good business to make the businesses safely accessible.