Clear Your Sidewalks For The Safety Of Others

Posted by: Fri, Dec 14, 2007

As some of you may know the snow on the sidewalks in Bridgeport is a major issue for us. This boils us over more than anything else in life. If you have read the About Me page you will know that we partially blame the snow covered sidewalks for our sons death, and it has been a problem since before that. As we stated at the end of that post we were able to get new sidewalks that were badly needed along our busy stretch of highway. The question was whether or not the township would enforce an ordinance that requires you, the property owner to shovel your sidewalks. Two years later and IT HASN’T HAPPENED YET!
Our son was in the road on his bicycle because he could not ride on the sidewalks due to the build up of snow and ice. I had complained to the township and was told they did not have the money to enforce the ordinance. Meanwhile the snow continued to build up. At one point they stated that not shoveling your sidewalks would be safer, so that the ice did not build up on them…Are they crazy or do they think we’re stupid? These are businesses along these sidewalks, they could pay someone to shovel and write it off on their taxes. *We do have two businesses along that route that always shovel a special thanks goes out to them.

snowy sidewalks

A nice gentleman from our township wrote a letter to the editor the day after our son died. It stated…

Clear walks for safety Editor, The News:

A young teenager riding his bike on the Dixie Highway died last week. Six-thirty in the
morning on the Dixie is no place to be with a bike. This is awfully sad.
But here is the rest of the story that needs consideration. I often walk down the Dixie between 6 and 7 in the
morning with my dog. Nearly every morning, two teenagers would pass me on their bikes, on the sidewalk. They
were going to the Bridgeport Middle School, and would park their bikes there at the bike stand. On this particular
morning there was only one. The other was under the front wheels of a SUV on the Dixie.
The sidewalks Were covered with ice and snow. Practically no one clears the walks along the Dixie. McDonald’s
Restaurant is one company that does. The sidewalk is difficult to walk, and I have to wear boots. It is impossible
to drive a bike on that sidewalk, and if the sidewalk had been cleared, as it should have been, that teen still could
be alive.
I believe that Bridgeport Township should get serious in demanding that property owners keep their walks clear
of snow, or do it themselves, if there is an absentee owner, and invoice the owner. This non-sidewalk clearing
condition also occurs on State Street. I believe that it’s time for some action. If nothing more, the owners should
be given warnings.

snowy sidewalks

Last year I complained again about the snow covered sidewalks, again I was told the ordinance would not be enforced! Just think with all the fines they could hand out to the property owners they could pay someone to enforce the ordinance. This time I called the local newspaper and they ran a story on the townships refusal to help get the sidewalks cleared. That story was featured in the paper on January 24, 2007, one year and one day after our son was killed. You may read the original article by clicking here. The township’s response was to put a sign up along Dixie Highway stating that there is an ordinance to shovel the sidewalks, please do so. No one complied.

This summer a new sidewalk was placed on our side of the highway, the township paid for the sidewalk and they still will not enforce the snow removal! How frustrating is that, this is absolutely ridiculous. One of the businesses along the new sidewalk is the Michigan State Police, not only have they not shoveled, but they have dead branches laying on their stretch of the sidewalk. My other son stopped into the State Police Station and asked the officer why they have not shoveled? He did not have an answer for him, matter of fact he said to take it up with the township because they put the sidewalk in! Now I have had it, this is insanely crazy. I plan to call the newspaper again and this time I am including the evening news channels.

For any property owner out there with a sidewalk on your property please shovel you have no idea what it means for the safety of other people. If you happen to be a business either shovel or employ a person to shovel and give back to the economy!

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3 Responses to “Clear Your Sidewalks For The Safety Of Others”

  1. Amanda Paquette says:

    Dec. 20, 2007

    The sadist thing here is that the loss of our Dustin did not even gain a learning expierience. The people of Bridgeport were so helpful and sad about Dustins accident. Now it is time for them to prove it. And they are not doing it. How many other children have to die because they are too lazy to shovel the sidewalks. This is rediculous and upsetting as parents have to send thier children to schools. These children should not be afraid for thier lives because they can’t get to school safely. Dixie is a extremely busy road all the time. Lets not just pretend that you are sorry for the loss of our Dustin, but prove that he makes a difference. Because when we have to celebrate christmas without him and visit his grave site it makes a world of difference in our lives and everything that we do. Get off your butts and shovel it’s as simple as that. As far as the township goes, in Saginaw if the township has to go and shovel for you there is a bill sent to your house or business. Bridgeport is much smaller than Saginaw and if we have inforcible sidewalk clearing in saginaw, they can do it in the little town of Bridgeport.

  2. kentuckyslone says:

    Jan. 12, 2008

    I am very saddened to hear about this unfortunate death. Thank you for bringing this issue to everyone’s attention. I agree that the township needs to take this issue more seriously. It is a real shame that it often takes a death or serious injury before people will take action that should already have been done.

  3. Chad & Stacey says:

    Jan. 14, 2008

    The worst part about that is the people it hurts in the process. To update evryone, the township has taken a small I say small inititive to keep the sidewalks clear, so we’ll see what happens.

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