Winter has officially arrived in Toronto, and accompanying it is the inconvenience of snow and ice. Fittingly, this week's 'Explainer' takes a look at sneckdowns, and how snow can be a useful factor in street development. So what are sneckdowns and how can they benefit the city? Our sister site,, has the answer.

A sneckdown in Manhattan, image by Liz Patek via Wikimedia Commons

Though the snow and ice can be a barrier for pedestrians and people with disabilities, it can also be a surprising indicator of the way people use the road, which could ultimately have long-term benefits for the very users hampered by the white stuff. When vehicles travel along roadways after a fresh snowfall, they carve out pathways that demonstrate the most well-used areas of the street. At the same time, they also highlight unused road space that could be taken back by pedestrians. A sneckdown, or snowy neckdown, is essentially a curb extension created by snowfall. 

You can find the rest of the story on our sister site,