Seeing the many sidewalks still not shoveled around town shows the need for a requirement for residents to clear snow, John MacNeill writes.
Friday, February 15
Editor: Four days after the big storm and way too many Watertown property owners still haven't shoveled their sidewalks. Roads are only partially plowed, leaving no room for pedestrians who're forced to walk in the street. This problem comes up year after year but nothing is done about it. Snow and ice covered sidewalks are a hazard for emergency personnel, postal workers, commuters who need to reach their bus stops, and children walking to school. Cunniff School, for example, has no bus service and not everyone has an extra car to drive. Young kids shouldn't have to risk injury just to get to school. In 2010 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overturned 125 years of legal precedent and ruled that all Massachusetts property …
A majority of the councilors said the measure would to difficult to enforce, and prefer educating people about why they should clear snow.
Watertown residents will not be required to shovel snow off their sidewalks after the Town Council voted 7-2 against proceeding with the creation of a residential snow shoveling ordinance Tuesday night. Town Council Vice President Steve Corbett brought the proposal forward on behalf of the Watertown Commission on Disabilities. The Commission requested the ordinance requiring all residents be required to clear snow from sidewalks to allow people with disabilities to travel safely on town sidewalks during the winter. Corbett mentioned that others would benefit, including children walking to school, parents pushing strollers and commuters walking to bus stops. At last count, 22 communities around Boston have passed residential snow …