Saturday, December 29, 2007

Snowy Sidewalks

During my holiday travels, I was talking to my brother, who grew up in Iowa, about what it's like trying to get anywhere in Waterbury during the winter. I was telling him that, while there's snow on the ground, you pretty much have to drive a car if you don't want to struggle with snow and ice. At best, only half the sidewalks are shoveled, which means that pedestrians have to choose between possibly spraining an ankle or slipping and falling on ice, or risk getting hit by a car while walking in the side of the road. I can't even imagine what it must be like for someone pushing a baby stroller. Anyone in a wheelchair is either stuck at home or stuck in the roadway.

My brother was shocked by this situation. He had trouble comprehending that there could be unshoveled sidewalks. It turns out that Iowa not only requires property owners to shovel their sidewalks, they also have a state law (Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12 [2c]) which allows/requires each city to shovel any sidewalk that isn't cleared soon enough. The city then bills the property owner for the job.

This sounds absolutely wonderful to me. I'd love to see it happen here. There's something about having clear walkways that's so civilized.

Of course, since Waterbury has difficulty just getting the streets properly cleared, expecting the city to also take care of sidewalks, even if they do get reimbursed for it, is probably asking too much.

1 comment:

Jacques said...

Hey there!

I was looking for information about Waterbury, and I just came across your blog. I'm in the process of creating a web site right now called http://www.waterburyctguide.net . If you'd ever like to write something to be published on the site, I think it'd be awesome. My name is Jacques and my e-mail address is webmaster@waterburyctguide.net . :-)

I've been vaguely considering adding an opinion page to my site, although I'm going to be bogged down as it is. I'd wanted to write something about the fact that Waterbury has a "free" library but we have to pay 50 cents every hour to park in front of it. (The actual parking meter fines are probably different, but you get the idea)