Monday, February 07, 2011

No Sidewalk

This is in front of 2901 West Beltline Highway (Frontage Rd, actually) and corner of Landmark Place, the building where The Suby Group is located. And yes, I am calling them out by name because one of my biggest peeves is people, especially businesses, who do not clear walkways as they are supposed to within 24 hours of a snowfall. Now, I understand that is difficult to move or clear a path through 18 inches of snow, but by Saturday they had had three days to do so.

As most of you know, I do the majority of my shopping and errands by bus. My apartment is located between two bus stops, one uphill from my block, and one at the bottom of the hill. I prefer to walk downhill, especially as I have to then walk uphill once I turn onto my block. Plus, when coming uphill towards my block, there is a sudden steep incline in front of one of the businesses just east of my street and the sidewalk in front of their building is always slippery and difficult to climb in winter.

So, as I always do, I disembarked at the uphill stop west of my street. At first, I breathed a sigh of relief and thought, "Oh good, they cleared the walk!" and shouldered my shopping bags to navigate the narrow path tunneled through the snow. In this first photo, you can see a glimpse of the sidewalk and snow as the bus pulls away. Pay close attention to the way the sidewalk curves.
Yeah. Their property line ends at the stop sign (where bus is in picture above). I got halfway between the bus stop and stop sign when I suddenly found myself trapped between a 4-1/2 foot berm on my left (about shoulder height), an eight foot wall on my right, and knee-deep snow in front of me. Say it with me: WTF?!

Someone was obviously shirking his responsibilities and only cleared the sidewalk halfway down, probably figuring noone would notice. And he's right. Due to the way the walkway curves, you cannot tell from the corner that it has only been cleared halfway down. Which is how I came to be trapped.

Here's a wider view. Now, while that terrace between road and sidewalk does not seem so wide in summer, when there is no snow, the prospect of having to crawl over four feet of snow in winter makes it seem as wide as a football field. NOT that I would be foolish enough to try it, as I would instantly sink into the drift, or get hit by a passing car as I attempted to clambor over it.

So, my options were to turn around and go all the way back to Landmark and then walk down the middle of the road (not advisable along this section in winter, as most of the bike lane is covered with snow), or plow through the snow in front of me. Someone else had obviously had the same issue earlier, so I opted to shoulder both of my grocery bags (thankfully not very heavy this week as I am too poor to adequately fill my cupboards), and step in the bootsteps ahead of me. Which meant my pants were wet up past my knees by the time I reached the other side. Good thing I was wearing two layers and winter boots! And that I was able to change ten minutes later.

Thankfully, my apartment complex was compliant with city law and had cleared the sidewalk all the way to the property line. Here's what the sidewalk looks like from our side. Yes, I know, you can't see the sidewalk that runs parallel to the wall, but trust me, it's there. Somewhere.

Let's hope they get someone out their today to finish the job!


Jana said...

Ugh. I'd be tempted to put up some kind of sign planted directly in the snow directing attention to it. Unless that would get me into trouble. In that case, I'd just complain loudly. ;-)

kavyen said...

Uggh! That is some snow... Being an optimist it is probably a good time to sit home and read :)

Heather said...

Jana: Actually, I planned to complain to the city snow hotline, but misplaced the info and could not find it online. Naturally I'll find it two months from now...

Kavyen: Trust me, I would have prefered not going out at all, but I really needed to go to the bank and the grocery store. This is why I do not walk outside in my neighborhood during winter, though. Half the area has no sidewalks, and those that do aren't always cleared as they are supposed to be.

Alice Audrey said...

That was dirty pool. Maybe you can bring them to the city's attention. If nothing else, they can help fill the city coffers with fines and fees.

Heather said...

What makes you think I haven't reported them? What makes me mad about people who don't clear walkways the way they are supposed to is, not only is it the law, but not clearing them endangers pedestrians. And now, with the temps dropping into single digits and even below freezing again this week, it is going to be harder to clear that two feet of snow.