Please clear the sidewalks

Published: 3/13/2019 9:42:09 AM
Please clear the sidewalks

I met two of my new neighbors the other day on my regular walk around town. I love walking and feel lucky to live in Greenfield, where a walk can be a meditation past tidy gardens, or it can be a business like march uptown to get a cup of sugar for a baking project. My new neighbors were attracted to Greenfield after living in a more rural town for many years. They now plan to walk to the store and to their medical appointments as they now have a regular rotation of medical visits in their calendar.

On this particular day, they were creeping carefully along icy sidewalks and sloshing through slushy corners on the sidewalk, sometimes walking out in the street to avoid a particularly nasty stretch. They wondered whose responsibility those sidewalk corners were and they were surprised that some residents (not all but enough) did not clear their sidewalks after one or more recent snow storms.

To be truthful, I felt embarrassed about our poor welcome for these newcomers and for the many parents pushing stollers, folks recovering using walkers or wheelchairs and for those seniors who, set out for a daily walk for their health or to get necessities. Not infrequently, I see folks in wheelchairs riding along in the streets, dodging cars and puddles because they cannot access the sidewalks and I see pedestrians crossing the road to seek safer footing.

While folks race off to work or hunker down inside their homes and shirk their sidewalk responsibilities, they create dangerous conditions. It could take only one hard fall for a senior citizen to become permanently injured and to lose their independence or more. Please consider your civic responsibility on each and every snow or ice event and shovel, sand or salt. You may save a life and you will certainly be creating a more friendly community. 

Caitlin McKenna


Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906


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