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Letter: Keeping sidewalks clear

On Feb. 11, The Recorder carried a story in the Health section regarding the physical and psychological trauma from slipping on ice. The article added that some folks end up being virtual shut-ins until spring for fear of taking such an fall.

But nowhere in the article was it mentioned that the majority of these events are due to the failure of those responsible to keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice. In Greenfield, of course, those responsible are homeowners and businesses abutting the sidewalk (Town Ordinance No. 159-16). This requires that “any snow, ice or sleet” be removed within 24 hours after the end of a storm. Anything remaining needs to be treated so that the sidewalk is “safe for travel.” Sand is available to Greenfield residents at the DPW facility on Wells Street.

On a hopeful note, the clearing of the sidewalks in front of both the Rite Aid pharmacy and the Wendy’s restaurant in town has improved dramatically. Turns out that each had been misinformed by their corporate headquarters that sidewalk clearing was the duty of municipalities. Managers at both of these businesses, when the situation here in Greenfield was clarified, readily assumed responsibility for this task. After the Feb. 5 snowstorm the sidewalk in front of each was totally clear for its entire width. It was therefore safe for all travelers — pedestrians, wheelchair users, parents pushing baby carriages — who should all continue to have safe freedom of movement in the winter months.

GEORGE TOULOUMTZIS

Greenfield

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