Most U.S. cities leave the responsibility of sidewalk snow removal to homeowners, landlords, and businesses. The result: endangered pedestrians.
CityLab recently looked at how cities across the United States leave the responsibility of sidewalk snow removal to homeowners, landlords, and businesses. They report that the results are “…haphazard at best, and don’t account for vacant properties and residents who don’t have the physical ability to shovel or the means to pay someone to do it for them.”
In cold-weather cities like Syracuse, the most vulnerable residents are not able to clear their sidewalks. Whether the reason is that they are single parents working multiple jobs, elderly, disabled, or physically unable, the City saw the need to step in.
The City’s program is a pilot program being paid for by funds within the Public Works budget.
“The next phase of this will be for us to analyze how the service worked, what it cost, and what that means as a municipality for the overall cost.”Sharon Owens, Deputy Mayor of Syracuse
Although most cities don’t treat sidewalks as necessities, some do, and prioritize them to varying degrees, reports CityLab.
Read about what activists said the Syracuse pilot program and Syracuse’s program differs from what other snow cities do to clear sidewalks.