[bscb-l] snow removal
alison2911 at comcast.net
Wed Mar 24 18:20:10 GMT 2010
I agree that we should fine homeowners who actually shovel snow onto the sidewalks, just as it is currently illegal to shovel snow into the street. But forcing homeowners to clear the sidewalks otherwise is unreasonable in so many cases, it will never be enforceable. Forcing people to apply for disability exemptions will end up being a headache for everyone, since you know it will involve a lot of hassle and red tape, and forcing poor people to pay fines will never really work because nobody is going to let us be that selfish and heartless--it will not be enforced.
If we think it's so easy to shovel the sidewalk, then we should go out with shovels and do it ourselves. If we think that's too much to ask, then how can we force other people to do it? Because this policy so obviously unfair to some people, it will never be enforced, and all the "exemptions" will leave us with basically the same mess we're in now, except that homeowners with disabilities will also have good reason to think BSCB hates them. Why would we fight against so many other people with disabilities just to pass a law that isn't going to be enforceable anyway?
----- Original Message -----
From: "alice dampman Humel" <alicedh at verizon.net>
To: bscb-l at acb.org
Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 1:18:13 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [bscb-l] snow removal
Actually, many cities and towns in many states have and successfully enforce ordinances that require people to shovel out their sidewalks. I think the fines should be raised to much higher levels to "encourage" people to clear their sidewalks. Many cities and towns simply tack the fines onto the homeowner's tax bill.
The solution to the problem of disabled homeowners is called "exemption." They apply and are exempted from the ordinance.
How many homeowners and/or renters refuse to shovel their sidewalks, but are perfectly capable of shoveling out their precious cars, parking spots, and driveways and leave a 5 foot high mound of snow right smack in the middle of their unshoveled sidewalks making walkking on the sidewalk an impossibility? It may be possible to slog through an unshoveled sidewalk, but it is not possible to get past these mounds without going out into the street, and of course with all the snow, one has to go further out into the street than for a non-snow off-curb obstacle, thus endangering both person and dog, if there is a dog.
Technically, you are correct that the sidewalks are city property, and that the city is responsible for keeping them in good repair (and they can't even manage to do *that* much of the time). But as a homeowner, one has responsibilities that transcend the tecchnicalities, and it would not be possible for a city or town to clear all the residential sidewalks.
Of course, in a place like the former Soviet Union, the sidewalks in residential areas were indeed cleared by government crews, but I can hearr the conservatives screaming "socialism" all the way from here. Additionally, European urban landscapes are quite different from American ones. Very few people own one-family homes inn the cities or what we call suburbs, and there are more apartment buildings, so that social structure is different as well.
There are many solutions to this problem, but I doubt the current American social, political or economic climate would embrace any of them.
I do agree about the snow plows, though, and they leave those insurmountable mounds on streets and at corners. And because those mounds are so enormous, they stay around for months.
There's another problem involved with snow that we might as well address...in for a penny, in for a pound. And that is the grossly extreme overuse of chemical melting compounds on the streets and sidewalks that turn them into vast oceans of caustic slush and muck. God, I'd rather deal with ice and snow than with that sludge.
alicedh at verizon.net
alicedh at verizon.net
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