All pedestrians experience the frustration of puddles at corners (these are in addition to the puddles that form at most driveways). There is a solution, it is simple, and it calms traffic too.
Don’t dip the sidewalk when crossing side streets. Simple, eh? Now this is different from Ottawa’s too-gentle experiments with “intersection tables” and other timidities.
Here’s some close up pictures of what a pedestrian-first crossing of a sidestreet could look like. And there won’t be slush or puddles designed in from the beginning, like in Ottawa.
Isn’t that simple? And workable? And it will succeed in slowing down car traffic as it leaves a busy street in enters a slower residential street.
Here’s a close up of the corner detail:
Note there is a catch basin right at the traditional spot in the corner to catch water running along the gutter. The yellow dot pattern helps direct pedestrians to the crossing. In Ottawa, we use slots or groves cut into the sidewalk to convey that tactile message, so it’s not like everyone is going to be falling off the curb. With all our snow plowing, we might prefer to make the road slope be concrete too.
I suggest that raised crossings only because we have so much already-built current road infrastructure. These crossings could be added without tearing up all the road.
Of course, the better solution is to stop treating city streets as if they were country roads that slope water into an adjacent ditch. Drain the water away from the sidewalk, to the centre line of the road. Salt and car traffic will keep the snow mushed and washing down the catchbasins.
It might even make citizens want to walk somewhere, or even to walk to the bus stop again. But we have a century of anti-pedestrian design to overcome. And we shall.