$idewalks & Fear
|Even with warmer weather rough stretches remain with city sidewalks. It appears that someone hasn’t been doing their part with snow removal.|
© 2015 Luke T. Bush
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY
When it comes to snow removal why is it that Plattsburgh City is only responsible for 7.5 miles of sidewalks while the rest – 55 miles – is the responsibility of property owners? Couldn’t the city take on more of the burden?
Answer: No. Why? Money.
Official statement: It would cost around one million dollars to clear all sidewalks in the city.
One million dollars? I asked the Sidewalks Safety Community Forum coordinator, Debra Buell, for her reaction.
Debra: “I disagree with that totally.”
Burlington, Vermont, she pointed out, clears snow from 122 miles of sidewalk. Cost: 1.2 million dollars.
Based on those numbers Debra doesn’t believe the estimate by the Plattsburgh City Department of Public Works is accurate. It shouldn’t cost one million dollars to clear 55 miles of sidewalks when compared to Burlington’s operation.
“I believe this estimate,” she said, “was given as part of a campaign to keep things the same as they have always been and to build fear of raised taxes for property owners.”
Meanwhile, she observed, impassable sidewalks force pedestrians – especially school children – to take their chances walking in the street.