To the editor:
I have been tempted to write about snow on sidewalks but have resisted because it seemed there are weightier matters in our world today. Mr. Miller’s letter made me reconsider. Clearing sidewalks is not about City Hall. It’s not about whether one property owner has more work to do than someone else. It’s not about whether it is unfair to have to clear a sidewalk a second time after another snow or another round of plowing. The reason for clearing sidewalks is to make the walking path safe for children and other pedestrians. The point of it especially is to keep them from having to walk in streets.
Do we really need an ordinance that fines people for leaving sidewalks covered with snow and ice? Well, yes! There was a rather striking improvement in my part of town with the recent heavy snows, difficult as it was to keep sidewalks clear. Most people seemed to have responded to the publicity about the snow shoveling ordinance if not the threat of a fine itself. Anyone who reads the newspaper or keeps up with local news on television, radio or Web sites knew about this; anyone who ignores local news and common sense deserves a small slap on the wrist.
Good sidewalks help make good neighborhoods, and good neighborhoods help make a good community. We all benefit from that, and we all have a responsibility to contribute.