For some, snowed-in walkway is not just inconvenience
To the Editor:
The long awaited – and I understand to some, dreaded – snow has arrived. Once past the awe and wonder rounds of sledding and snowmen, are some of the seasonal stressors that accompany dealing with water is a solid form.
Aside from the treacheries of driving and the challenges of walking, many people face even more difficult mobility challenges during this season. People who use mobility devices find themselves in situations where they are unable to travel a snowy sidewalk because the shoveled path is too narrow.
I understand the frequency and labor of this task, in the cold, makes it one we attend to expeditiously. I’m writing as a reminder that for some, a snowed-in walkway is not just an inconvenience, but a barrier to independence.
Wheelchair travel requires a pathway with a minimum width of 42 inches (3-1/2 feet), and on a corner, a 60-inch turning radius. Curb cuts, or sidewalk ramps, also get packed with snow. Consideration to remove snow at curb cuts allows people in mobility devices to cross the street or board a bus or vehicle.
While clearing ice and snow from your sidewalks this season, please keep this information in mind. A bit more effort on your part could make a huge difference in another person’s ability to get where they need to go this winter.
Lastly, if you’re able and want to begin a resolution for 2016 of compassionate citizenry, consider adopting a bus stop in your neighborhood. The Stevens Point Transit Department has more than 150 bus stops in their service area, so your help would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps it could be a family or a Scout project. You could be the difference in someone’s freedom. Please consider “complete clearing” in your winter shoveling.
Stevens Point Transit Department travel trainer