Letters to the Editor

Snow strategy

March 2, 2008


To the editor:

Recent published comments regarding sidewalk snow removal are interesting. Current regulations regarding snow removal are totally ludicrous, allowing five days after a complaint has been received! To note a commissioner as saying, "We do not want to be too harsh," translates "We think it unimportant." No matter the penalty, it affects only those who are noncompliant! Also, one hates to see city ordinances enforced on a complaint-only basis, as seems to be done routinely. It's difficult but not impossible to convince tenants to do that chore.

A proposed solution: Target a midtown area. The city would keep lists of those willing to remove snow for pay. Patrons could then remove snow themselves or make use of the list to hire someone. Make use of volunteer monitors who would note walks not cleared within nine daylight hours after snowfall ends. Those noncompliant would be fined $100 plus snow removal costs and the jobs turned over to those who had made themselves available. The fine could be abated for those owners who are essentially unable to pay.

Such a program would be a moneymaker, costing the city nothing. It also would not penalize those who choose to be neighborly and clear their sidewalks. Due to this forum's requirements for brevity, details are not addressed here.

If the issue is truly "unimportant," let's quit kidding ourselves and remove any ordinance regarding snow removal.

Lawrence Bodle,


KS 10 years, 2 months ago

Lawrence, you truly have too much time on your hands.

Sigmund 10 years, 2 months ago

"If the issue is truly "unimportant," let's quit kidding ourselves and remove any ordinance regarding snow removal."

Agreed, lets get it off the books because it like dozens of other ordinances they are truly unimportant and unneeded. The city has much more important things it should focus on. And why would you focus just on mid town if it is such a problem? Why not focus on Prospect Ave, for instance?

But since you are so civic minded you could encourage the City to buy snow plow blades that can be attached to the front of the empTy buses. At least we would get something for the $1,500,000 we spend each and every year.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 2 months ago

Prospect Ave does not propose sidewalk problems for the city or homeowners. We play in the street.

As for the T 50% of it's riders are going to work while others are getting to educational institutions,medical appointments and shopping = dollars into the economy.

workinghard 10 years, 2 months ago

Maybe it has become a problem in recent years because less and less the kids need to earn their spending money or go out and earn money for that new vidio game. Kids are just handed things now days. When was the last time a kid knocked on your door to shovel snow? Kudos to the ones that do. Also, if a house (not apartment) or duplex is being rented, the renter should be shoveling the walk not the landlord. That is part of renting a house. If a block only has a sidewalk on one side, the homeowners on the other side should share in the shoveling, and 9 daylight hours seems a little unrealistic.

Off the subject, they lied when they said property taxes would not increase much, mine went up over $3,000 in North Lawrence, went up more than that last year too. I'd like to hear what the city has improved in North Lawrence, and we can't even get Freenet over there. Have you noticed Freenet removed their coverage map from their website after readers pointed out it showed they didn't cover North Lawrence or old East Lawrence. They say they can't cover old East Lawrence because there are too many trees, oh please. They can't cover North Lawrence because the only place they can put their equiptment is on top of the grain elevator and the owner won't work out a deal with them. They can't aim it across the river from somewhere? How are they going to provide internet for all kids if they can't cover these two areas?

Tammy Copp-Barta 10 years, 2 months ago

And what about those of us that have to get up and go to work for 9+ hours a day? 8-5???? How the heck are we supposed to get our sidewalks done while we are working? And what about the city sidewalks? I saw several that were along city property that weren't cleaned. What about my street not getting cleaned for two days? I do think sidewalks need to be cleaned, but sometimes it's not possible to get it done the same day. What about the elderly who can hardly afford heat? The thought of them having to pay fines or people to clear their sidewalks is ridiculous. They have no business being out there taking a chance of falling. My family helps a couple of elderly people on our street clear their porches and walkways, but there are many others out there and I have to work 40+ hours a week.

nettieb 10 years, 2 months ago

Lawrenceks66 -

Does your battery pack run out after 40 hrs a week or something?

Most people work 40+ hrs and still manage to find time to do things that aren't required of them. My husband works 60+ hrs per week and still finds time to scoop snow, because he's not lazy, and he doesn't feel he is entitled to sit around and wait for other people to make his life more convenient (except for me, anyway).

Get up and scoop your own snow.

Eric Neuteboom 10 years, 2 months ago

Seriously, just get out and do it. Takes only a little effort, you get some exercise, and it looks good when done. All the petulent whiners on here ("when the lawyer in my block shovels his and when KU clears their's then I will think about shoveling again") just need to grab a shovel. Unbelievable how so many people whinewhinewhine about shoveling driveways/sidewalks. Do you whine about brushing your teeth? Washing your hands? Eating your brocoli? Whatever happened to "do a good deed daily?"

jafs 10 years, 2 months ago

Cleaning the sidewalks in front of one's house is considerate and neighborly.

Wouldn't you think that if someone fell and injured themselves in front of your property because you failed to do so that you would be legally liable?

nettieb 10 years, 2 months ago

No, because no one is responsible for the upkeep of their own property anymore.


trinity 10 years, 2 months ago

how nice would it be if people shoveled&cleared their walks just because it is a nice thing to do for pedestrians! oh! imagine.

Tammy Copp-Barta 10 years, 2 months ago

nettieb .. Sounds like you've got time to get out there and give your husband a break and shovel YOUR snow ..

And you don't know anything about me. After I get off work I do lots of other community service things. Probably taking care of your kids somewhere in scouting or school events. So don't indicate I don't DO anything after my 40+ hours.

STILL 9 hours after a snow storm is a ridiculous timeline. I didn't say it SHOULDN'T get done. AND my CONCERN is STILL for the elderly in our community. Now unless during the day you're out shoveling lots of sidewalks for them, you should be concerned as well, 'cause one day you'll BE one of those elderly if you're not already!

nettieb 10 years, 2 months ago

I could do it, but its usually done by the time I get home. I WOULD do it if I needed to, and wouldn't spew a lame excuse like working full time to justify not doing it. Kudos on the community service. I'm sure my kids would appreciate your taking care of them if you did, but you don't, and if you can't muster the energy to scoop snow, what makes you think I would entrust you with my childrens' lives? What if they get buried under a pile of snow? They'd suffocate.

nettieb 10 years, 2 months ago

No, I got the point. You know it needs to be done, but you work 40+ hours so you can't do it until you get around to it, and why should you go out of your way to do it as soon as you can when the city doesn't even get theirs done? Really, I got it.

Lawrenceiscrooked 10 years, 2 months ago

LOL. I like the idea of putting plows on the front of EMPTY T busses we pay out the butt for that nobody uses. Good call sir!

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