Our View: Please shovel your sidewalk“The sidewalks and walkways are the lifeline for many people with disabilities and our senior community,” wrote Minnesota State Council on Disability Director Joan Willshire after a snowstorm hit the state.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
The recent heavy snowfall turned Carlton County into a winter wonderland … unless you’re someone who rides bike, pushes a stroller or walks to school, work or around the block with the dog.
While city staff begin clearing the streets before a snowstorm even ends, too many businesses and homeowners don’t bother clearing the sidewalks until days after, if ever.
Granted, for some strange reason, the city of Cloquet does not currently require residents to clear their sidewalks of snow. But isn’t it one of those things a person does for the greater good?
Sidewalks are like streets – important connectors and transit routes – only for people who prefer a more active mode of transportation or, alternatively, for those who are forced to get around via wheelchair, Rascal or other motorized device because of a physical disability.
“The sidewalks and walkways are the lifeline for many people with disabilities and our senior community,” wrote Minnesota State Council on Disability Director Joan Willshire after last weekend’s snowstorm hit the state. “When they are not cleared off, this can present difficulties with trying to get to work, the grocery store or medical appointments. Basic health and safety issues can be affected as well.”
Do it for your neighbor who needs to walk every day so she can recover more quickly from a stroke. Do it for your dad who walks his dog. Do it for your friend who just had a baby and wants to lose those extra pounds. Do it for the kids who walk to school. Do it for exercise. Do it because you feel guilty. Do it because you’re Minnesota nice. Whatever the reason, like Nike says, just do it.
Finally, for those not motivated by care for your fellow man, there is another argument for shoveling your sidewalk, especially in our litigious nation – the threat of a lawsuit. If someone is injured as a result of falling on your sidewalk or parking lot because the snow and ice were not cleared, then you could be faced with a lawsuit and/or higher insurance premiums to boot.
Do the right thing and shovel your sidewalk as soon as possible after it snows.