MO cities emphasize importance of shoveling sidewalks

Snow shoveling by klmontgomery on FlickR

With most of Missouri seeing the heaviest amount of snowfall in many years, Missouri cities are emphasizing the importance of clearing sidewalks for pedestrians.

Springfield:

In addition to making driving difficult, snowfall can endanger pedestrians -- especially those who must rely on their own two feet to get to school.

And this is not a small number.

In the Springfield district, 6,500 students are transported to school by the district and a significant portion of the remaining 23,942 walk to school. (The district doesn't keep count of walkers versus those who arrange their own transportation.) . . .

Allowing the snow to sit on the sidewalk in front of the home or business that you own or occupy violates City Code. Section 98-74 says you're supposed to take "reasonable measures under the circumstances" to clear the walks so as to not "endanger or inconvenience pedestrians."
. . .

We just hope this reminder will trigger some sidewalk clearing by citizens healthy enough to do it, or by some enterprising tykes clever enough to grab a shovel and go knocking on some doors -- perhaps with a copy of this editorial or the actual city code in hand.

Jefferson City:

A Jefferson City code says residents are responsible for clearing the sidewalk outside of their own homes.

"We obviously want to give residents time before they go out to shovel the sidewalk," Community Development Director Charlie Lansford said. . . .

"We'll be focusing on high-pedestrian areas."

High-pedestrian areas include sidewalks around schools, shopping centers, and bus stops.

St. Joseph:

Under City Ordinance Section 25-78, the property owner is responsible for removing ice and snow from his or her sidewalk, unless the city is the owner of it. . . .

Since sidewalks are often used by senior citizens, children and people with special needs, Sgt. Rothganger advised anyone not able to safely walk on them to take what they deem a safer option [including walking in the street where snow has been cleared, if that seems the safest option.]. . . .

Mr. Woody said crews were working diligently on sidewalks where they were required to perform maintenance, and he hopes others will do the same to their property.

“It is an obligation of the property owner to clean it themselves,” he said. “It’s a private responsibility.”

Chicago's Active Transportation Alliance has been encouraging individuals and businesses to shovel their sidewalks:

The Chicago-based Active Transportation Alliance is urging residents, tenants and businesses to keep sidewalks clear and safe for pedestrians. . . .

Executive director Rob Sadowsky says snow shoveling walkways is neighborly, and in some places, including Chicago, it's the law.

The Alliance has downloadable flyers in English and Spanish that people can post encouraging and thanking their neighbors for shoveling. They're at www.activetrans.org/shovel.