Storm Recovery Message from the City Manager
From Suzanne Ludlow, City Manager of Takoma Park
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 1:00 PM
I had hoped to put my Winter Storm Messages to rest, but so many have asked for additional information, that I agree it makes sense to send out a few more. I’ve changed the name to Storm Recovery Message to try to make it seem different!
It’s time to begin enforcement of our Takoma Park sidewalk clearing laws. The big effort now must be on making the community safe for pedestrians. Please shovel sidewalks in front of your home if you haven’t already. Since this storm had a snow fall that was the fourth deepest on record for this region, we suspended enforcement of our rules requiring sidewalks to be cleaned by noon after a night snowfall and by 9 pm after snowfall during the day (see www.takomaparkmd.gov/snow for more information). The rules go back into effect this week:
We will begin issuing citations for uncleared sidewalks in front of businesses, institutions, and apartment/multi-family buildings on Thursday and for sidewalks in front of single-family homes on Friday.
If you are one of the folks whose sidewalks received a big dump of snow due to snowplowing, we will not be citing you – at least certainly not at first. It is pretty obvious to our inspectors if the sidewalk has had snow plowed onto it, but feel free to send me your address if you are affected. In certain cases, we may be able to coordinate efforts to remove the snow.
We need to make the walking paths to schools safe for our young people. Ride On buses began limited service today and we need to clear the way to and around bus stops. We will be trying to widen the travel lanes on streets with Ride On and school bus routes by clearing out the piles of snow left between cars. We are urging residents who are willing and able to assist clearing snow from bus stops, from roads between parked cars (snow will need to be placed on adjacent lawns, not in the street), and from sidewalk ramps at intersections. Of course, we have crews out doing the same, but the more people and shovels we have out working, the quicker the walkways and bus routes will be cleared.
Speaking of helping out, a HUGE cheer to the Snow Angels that cleared the sidewalks, driveways and paths from over 70 houses in Takoma Park! I have received the nicest notes from the recipients of this volunteer effort of our community’s young people and a number of adults. Takoma Park is great!
Looking ahead, our goal is to have streets cleared from curb to curb and have all sidewalks shoveled as soon as possible. I’m not sure how long it will take to get there, but I would like to have it done before Montgomery County Public Schools open. Even with the sidewalks cleared, it is difficult to see around snow piles, so walking and driving are both very dangerous.
Sometimes, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to help. This morning I saw a man with a cane trying to step through a section that had been walked on but not shoveled. I was so afraid he would fall. He was sick of eating the food in his apartment and wanted to go to the store for something different. Fortunately, he was able to make it. I cleared the path so he could come back safely. It was only about ten feet of shoveling and now a whole pedestrian connection is made. If you are able, take a few minutes to look around to see where the hazards are and see if you can help make things a little bit safer.
So, today’s message is – help get the sidewalks cleared throughout our community!
And, be safe.