In 2015, the Age-Friendly Pedestrian Safety and Walkability Committee developed an All-Season Age-Friendly Walkability and Pedestrian Safety Audit questionnaire, and carried out all-seasons audits in several Ottawa communities in partnership with local groups and their community associations (see www.coaottawa.ca/transportation for the audit questionnaire and reports). It became clear that walking in winter was especially problematic for older people and others and that further investigation was needed to find out how Ottawa pedestrians were coping with winter conditions. This was the start of the Snow Mole Campaign.
The Snow Mole Report 2020 contains background information about the Snow Mole project, a summary of the collected data and an analysis of common trends. It summarizes what we have learned over three years and gives a list of recommendations to improve winter walking in Ottawa.
The findings in the 2020 Report reinforce the recommendations from previous Snow Mole Reports and provides some new information related to the onset of the Covid-19 social distancing requirements.
There is a real and urgent need to recognize the challenges and serious impacts of changing winter weather on Ottawa pedestrians, especially on older populations and those using mobility aids. The time to act on recommendations to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility in winter conditions has arrived.