Saturday, January 26, 2013
Keeping sidewalks safe
While everyone knows they need to shovel their sidewalks after a snow, most people don't realize they need to make sure there's no ice on their sidewalks. As snow melts or water runs off rooftops, it risks re-freezing on the sidewalk after the sun goes down and temperatures drop again. It's the owner's responsibility to make the sidewalks safe by sanding, removing or using an ice melting solution on icy sidewalks and steps.
Not keeping sidewalks and stairways free of ice can result in the same city fine that you get if you don't shovel snow.
The problem is compounded in our area due to a change in government rules. Residents are no longer allowed to connect downspouts (gutters) to the storm drain system. For the rear of houses, gutters can drain to the yards or to a groundwater recharge system. But there's often not room for either of those options in the front of buildings, so the downspouts now discharge right onto the sidewalks. While usually not a problem, in wintertime this can create havoc. On days like today where just a bit of snow is melting, even a small 'drip drip' from your gutter will create a thin sheen or water on the sidewalk, turning the sidewalk into a skating rink once the sun goes down.
Please, everyone, check your sidewalks in the evenings and make sure they provide a safe environment for you and your neighbors!