Letters to the Editor

Not a problem

February 1, 2011


To the editor:

Sunday’s editorial regarding our snow-shoveling ordinance begins “Snow is a pain in the behind.” Thus, my suggestion for solving this civic dilemma is that the city (and the J-W) BUTT OUT.

For years, the first flakes of winter have been accompanied by a flood of ink, extolling the virtues of Lawrence spending money and human resources to combat the evil (more of a minor annoyance really) of a very few persons failing to shovel snow due to being irresponsible rather than, for whatever reason, being unable to do so. I doubt the law would get any official attention, for the reasons given in this editorial, if the editor would invest ink in more pressing matters (I can think of many). As for the ordinance appearing “to have some value,” I’d say very little value; if indeed any when enforcement costs are considered.

I routinely shovel my walkways; it makes my life easier (because I walk on them), and, as a useful corollary, helps others such as the good folks who deliver my newspapers. And I walk a lot; it’s great exercise. If the city concentrated more on clearing side streets, that’d be great. Staff indeed do a fine job of this already, but there’s always room for improvement.

Simple solution: Ditch the law. And if we’ve hired any extra staff to review complaints and issue tickets, send them out with shovels instead of pads and pencils.


Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 4 months ago

You don't have to look very far to see that it isn't a few. It's a lot of folks who don't care about clearing the sidewalks that legally are their responsibility. The sidewalks are everybit as important as the streets for many people and if the city wasnt clearing the streets most of us would be raising Cain about it. Leave the law in place and enforce it. If you live next to someone who can't clear their sidewalks then be a good neighbor and help them out. Isn't that what we should be doing anyway?

repaste 7 years, 4 months ago

I agree, clear walks are more important than many realize. The problem is enforcement that relies on a few cranky sorts that end with a string of citations along 2 or 3 dog walk/jog paths. The more important collector type sidewalks are often plow drift covered for weeks. As late as Sunday people on 6th were walking biking in street to avoid a few areas.

grimpeur 7 years, 4 months ago

It's too bad such an ordinance is needed.

But it is, indeed, needed. And it appears to be effective.

Mark Zwahl 7 years, 4 months ago

The walks in my neighborhood haven't been perfect, but they've been far superior than the last 15 years. I get how it may seem petty (and granted, the enforcement of it may leave something to be desired). But falling down and getting injured is no small matter...

Cai 7 years, 4 months ago

As a person who walks everywhere- the law is necessary. There are parts of lawrence that would do just fine without it, but there are also several people (usually students) who rent houses and either through miscommunication between landlord and tenant or through sheer lack of "give a crap", the sidewalks get neither salted nor shoveled, and walking on them becomes a full on hazard.

Walking in the street can be worse - particularly in these areas, as drivers spray snow and slush at best, or lose control at worst.

There is a service in the city to call if you are simply in capable of shoveling snow that will help. It already exists. Also - neighbors are your friends.

Betty Bartholomew 7 years, 4 months ago

Everybody in my neighborhood seems to walk in the streets, anyhow, no matter what the weather. If I shovel, will you please force them to use the sidewalk instead of getting in my way when I'm driving?

Jimo 7 years, 4 months ago

Just hire a contractor to clear the unshoveled walkways and add the prorated cost to their property tax bill. An amazing wave of industry and self-reliance will spring up immediately.

Meatwad 7 years, 4 months ago

I totally disagree with this editorial and suggest that he must not venture away from his property much to see that indeed a lot of people don't shovel, not just a few, and that's with the law in place. I can only imagine what we'd see if there was no law. I for one, would shovel my sidewalks whether or not there was a law, or would ask someone else to do it. Some people care about people who walk, but unfortunately, far too many don't. It is a great law and I fully support it.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.