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Sharing the road

Nemo won’t go down in the history books as one of the worst blizzards, according to meteorologists, because it didn’t dump more than 30 inches of snow over a wider area.

We can be thankful for that.

Green Airport recorded 17 inches. One can only imagine where we would be if there had been another 13 inches.

That matters little now. Whether more or less, a record or not, what remains of the blizzard continues to pose a hazard to pedestrians and children walking to school.

Snow mounds have narrowed many roads; a choice made by the city not to push back snow and fill driveways and parking places residents had cleared. With rain on Monday, the expectation was for much of the snow to melt and for crews to then further open roads.

Appropriately, immediately following the storm, the city concentrated on opening all roads and doing what it could to help as National Grid crews tackled restoring power. At the height of the storm, 9,000 Warwick customers lost service.

Clearing sidewalks was a not an issue at the time, but it is now.

The city has concentrated efforts in the vicinity of schools, and many property owners have done their part, as required by city ordinance, with a little nudge from Police, who have taken a pro-active stance, issuing notices to property owners and, as of yesterday, following up with summons that carry a $100-a-day fine.

Nonetheless, sidewalks remain buried throughout the city. A Beacon survey of roads in the area of Toll Gate High and Winman Junior High Tuesday found kids walking in Toll Gate Road, a route subject to high traffic and rescue runs to Kent Hospital. These are not safe conditions.

Clearing sidewalks is not an easy task, especially when they have become the depository for snow cleared from the roads and that snow is further weighed down by rain. The challenge is further complicated by questions of where to put the snow.

We’re not suggesting that this is easy, or that sidewalks be cleared side to side, but we can all be more alert to the restrictions posed by the snow mounds that line our roads and to the possibility that people have little choice but to walk in the road.


Comments
2 comments on this item

The city cannot legally force a private citizen to clear a sidewalk that is city property. That is called slavery. Anyone receiving a violation should go to municipal court and fight it. If they lose, appeal to superior court. You don't need a lawyer. The city will have to pay the police officer to go to court to testify. Ask for the photographs of the uncleared sidewalk. Ask the officer to tell you how deep the snow was. He didn't photograph it? He didn't measure it? Where is the proof that the sidewalk wasn't cleared?

Ask for the city engineer to be subpoened to testify as to the exact location of the sidewalk and its boundries. Also point out that your doctor told you not to shovel snow as you are subject to a heart attack. You have back problems. You cannot afford to pay someone. Why does the city take responsibility to clear some sidewalks but not all of them?

Everyone is an expert. People complain that they have to clear the sidewalks, or stay off the roads during blizzards. I believe in Karma. So if you want to continue to go against the grain if you will so be it. Eventually you will be fined, or someone will slip on or near your property or worse such as a child gets struck and killed in front of your place and you have to live with that Perhaps you will get in a serious car crash because you believe you should have the right to be out driving in a blizzard to where I don't know because everything was closed ! People in general are very ignorant. When I see people talking on their phones and texting while driving I hope they get stopped and fined to the fulliest amount. Why? because their ignorance in following the laws can cause harm to others. Sidewalk clearing and staying off the road during a blizzard are no different in examples. Bottom line is you don't like being told what you have to do. Probably never have. Sounds like a personal problem to me. You are part of the problem with this country. Complaining on here about everything. How about you do something about it and take care of your responsibilities. May be ask a elderly neighbor if they need assistance. Try following the laws set in place. May be there wouldn't be so many laws if people used common sense on their own ! Instead they have to be forced to get off their tails and do what is right.

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