Friday, February 3, 2012

Letter Writer Says Sidewalk Shoveling Laws Should Be Enforced

Spokesman-Review Letter to the Editor
Snow build-up violates law

It’s a federal, state and city law. Sidewalks must be cleared of snow to allow pedestrians to safely walk. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, sidewalks must be ADA accessible, and clear of snow.
Washington state law requires property owners to remove snow from sidewalks in a timely manner. Spokane City Code mandates owners to clear snow in front of their property within 24 hours of a snow storm. With multiple levels of law mandating snow removal from sidewalks, why is it that a man in a wheelchair or a mother pushing a stroller is forced to walk in the street?

The simple reason is because these rules, although they exist, are not enforced. Yes, clearing sidewalks is the responsibility of Spokane citizens, yet, on the same hand, laws are only effective when they are enforced, and that responsibility falls to the city.
Do a mother and child need to be killed after being forced to walk in the street because the sidewalk is piled 3 feet high with snow from the plowed roads, for the city to take action? Snow removal should not only be to the benefit to motorist, but also to pedestrians.

Danielle Taylor

I of course agree that sidewalks should be cleared but don't see how we can afford to pay for enforcement in the current economic atmosphere. Anyone have any ideas?


Charles said...

I think a lot more sidewalks would be shoveled if the city did not bury the sidewalks in feet of snow. My corner still has a berm about a foot high, I did shovel a path through it but as a sometimes pedestrian I know the sidewalks do not need to be buried in snow

SRTC Staff said...

Yeah, I heard a lot of people in the past couple years when we had a lot of snow complain about the sidewalks being used for 'snow storage.' I'm not really sure what the other option is but it seems kind of like a catch 22.

Unknown said...

I lived in Anchorage Alaska for 22 yrs..They had no problem NOT covering sidewalks. They plowed snow to the center (keeping intersections clear) instead of pushing it to the sides. That way sidewalks and driveways didn't get a big berm in front of them. After it quit snowing for a time they came back thru with snow blower tractor and put snow in trucks to haul away. As for ticketing those that don't shovel is simple, Just use meter maids to patrol and leave tickets at the doors.

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SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

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