Please clear path

Published 11:53 am Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Austin Daily Herald Editorial

Although mail carriers made a plea, a few weeks ago, for Austin area residents to keep their sidewalks and mailbox areas clean of snow, it isn’t just mail carriers who benefit. Every pedestrian, and there are many in our community who routinely walk not just for exercise but also for transportation, benefits.

Homeowners and others who have responsibility for sidewalks seem to fall into three categories: Those who obsess about clearing every flake, those who almost never bother to shovel, and the majority who are somewhere in between. For those who almost never bother, consider that icy and snow-clogged sidewalks are a real danger to those who are on foot, not only because they represent a slipping hazard, but because bad sidewalks often encourage pedestrians to take their path into the street, where they’re at risk of getting hit by a car or truck. That’s especially true in the depths of winter when it’s either dark or dusk for so many hours each day.

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While it’s a nasty chore to keep sidewalks shoveled, it is a part of home ownership. For those who truly can’t find the time, or energy, to do their own shoveling, there are businesses aplenty that will provide the service.

December’s snowfall bonanza has been a real annoyance for those who must shovel. Unfortunately, keeping sidewalks clean is just part of living in the northland — and it’s the right thing to do.