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Letter: Breaking the ice

On Feb. 22, The Recorder had a story about enforcement of the Greenfield town ordinance to keep sidewalks free of snow and ice. The Police Log on that date reported a woman being bumped by a car at Maple and Franklin as she walked in the street because the sidewalk was not cleared. The goal is not collecting more fines. The bottom line is more sidewalks being clear and safe.

In that vein, I want to share other encouraging examples of sidewalk clearing. One day in February, the sidewalk in front of the Vehicle Inspection Center on Federal Street was covered with ice and compacted snow. The staff there said they’d been trying to pick away at it through the day with their snow shovels. They accepted my offer to loosen up the frozen stuff with my trusty icebreaker. Two of the inspectors came out and we had the entire sidewalk cleared in about 15 minutes. It felt like that scene in “Cool Hand Luke” when the crew rushes down the road shoveling sand.

A steel-headed icebreaker is an essential winter tool. I so often come across businesses or homeowners who realize they need to get their sidewalks cleared of ice and packed-down snow but are ill-equipped to do so. With the right tool and some elbow grease,w the sidewalk can often be cleared very quickly.

On another February afternoon, I was heartened when in front of Green Fields Market I saw Dennis, the maintenance worker there, out with an icebreaker clearing the handicapped access curb-cut.

Such efforts are an important part of achieving the increased walkability and accessibility that are goals of the Greenfield Sustainable Master Plan.



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