I just got back from a walk tonight, and am really disgusted with how poorly people cleared their sidewalks. A walk that normally takes me about a half hour instead took 40 minutes, and I feel like I’ve been walking a tightrope the whole time.
We’ve had some weird weather lately — lots of snow followed by above-freezing temps followed by freezing rain followed by more cold, cold temps followed by snow blown around by high winds — and people have just done a crappy job of keeping up with things. Ice, snow that melted to slush, got walked on then refroze, leaving a slippery lumpy mess that’s almost impossible to walk on. Other places look as if only feeble attempts (if any) have been made at clearing the snow that blew in.
We live in the central part of Sioux Falls, and I’m sure many homes are no longer owner-occupied, which makes things worse as renters just don’t tend to things as well as an owner. But a little ice can make things dangerous; I know all too well how easily bones can be broken with a simple fall
The city has pretty specific ordinances regarding the need for keeping the sidewalks cleared…
Sec. 38-76. Duty to remove.
(a) The owner or person in possession of any property abutting on any sidewalk shall keep such sidewalk free from snow and ice and shall remove any snow or ice from the sidewalk within 48 hours after the termination of any snow fall, snow or ice accumulation.
(b) The owner or person in possession of any property abutting upon any sidewalk which ends at an intersection or crosswalk shall maintain the sidewalk free from snow and ice to the edge of the street. Snow and ice deposited on the sidewalk in the street removal process shall be removed within 48 hours of being deposited.
And if the ordinance isn’t followed, the city retains the right to step in and take care of things for the property owner…
Sec. 38-78.1. City may remove.
If the owner or person in possession of property fails to remove the snow or ice from the sidewalks within the time specified, the city may have the snow or ice removed and charge the cost thereof against the abutting property each time the snow or ice is removed.
The trouble is that there is no provision in the ordinances for enforcement. From what I understand, the city only steps in when a complaint is lodged, either by way of a phone call or a message sent through the city’s online complaint form. The trouble is, the form asks for addresses of the properties in violation; I’d be plugging in every other address along the route of my walk.
Ok; I’m done complaining for now. I feel a little better. Just a little.