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Ice-covered Sidewalks

Uncleared sidewalks in a city known as a "walking" city. Not easy to walk it during the winter months. Some enforcement is required.

Why doesn't the City of Salem fine the residents that don't clear their sidewalks? Salem is known as a "walking" city - but it's impossible to walk it in the winter months. The surrounding cities fine their residents for not clearing walks. I have a problem with Salem not enforcing its laws. For instance, the parking ban during snow emergencies.  I know that  the City of Peabody towed cars that were parked on the road.  Did Salem?  No.  There were cars parked on Buffum Street and none were towed. They simply plowed around the cars. No wonder no one obeys the laws. There's simply no enforcement....

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Carolyn Costain January 05, 2013 at 11:18 PM
I agree with you! I just walked down Buffum st. and people near the small park need to salt the sidewalk! my poor dog looked like a cartoon dog trying to walk but going no where, some stretches of sidewalk are a 1/2 inch thick of ice. "If someone falls? The homeowner will get sued because its up to them to clear the walkway not the city in front of your home. "
Diane H January 06, 2013 at 01:19 AM
perhaps you could supply us with a list of just how many households in the surrounding towns have been fined for not clearing their sidewalks in the last say....24 months???? You say the "surrounding cities fine their residents for not clearing walks" so please show us the numbers...Perhaps you would also like to share your address so we can check on your walk throughout the winter....negative negative negative....It's winter.....it's a city full of slum lords, absentee landlords, low income units where no one gives a rip....In the Buffum street area you can't leave a package on your porch....you really think everyone is going to go out and clear the walks???? It's not like the old days...in general people don't care! For 10 years my husband has been out with the snow blower each and every storm....clearing the side walks for a block in each direction from our house...what has he received for that.....one woman who parked illegally for years complained if the snow blower happened to blow one poof of snow on her car....really???? so you are damned if you do and damned if you don't!
Beth Melillo January 06, 2013 at 02:13 AM
Totally agree with you! It's difficult for me to walk down Lafayette street from my house to the library, or museum (two of our favorite places!) with my son. Wish there were more action taken about this. Beth from www.connectshore.com.
Bob January 06, 2013 at 02:21 AM
Great post!! I too am out every storm and I actualy clear the sidewalk right up to the curb not just a path. The nieghbors never even make a path. Cars park on the sidewalks and never get fines for either one. I actually had a nieghbor complain about clearing the sidewalk and he couldn't park close enough to curb like it was my fault we had a storm. BTW, he never shovels his sidewalk.
Chris January 06, 2013 at 04:06 AM
Does anyone know who we can email at the City to complain about ice/snow covered sidewalks? The city's 'snow brochure' doesn't say who is doing the fining/enforcement.
Jim Kearney January 06, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Call your councillor - ensure they know it's an important issue! The old squeaky wheel ...
Kristin S January 07, 2013 at 05:47 PM
I can't tell you how many times I've fallen on the corner of Daniels and Essex...the drain spouts go right from the house and it provides an ice rink to attempt to walk over. We always clean our sidewalks leaving a path (and we salt) but its so frustrating (and extremely dangerous) that i have to walk on Essex street because the sidewalks are not cleared or too dangerous due to ice...They need to do something about protecting the citizens of Salem who walk daily with no other options (because I now cannot park at the Commuter Rail station due to lack of parking spaces).
Bob January 07, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Seems like the Councillor's don't give a hoot. Otherwise one of them would have posted here a response. Oh, I forgot, elections are over.Just saying.
ACG January 08, 2013 at 10:25 AM
Patten (sp?) Park is city owned. They would be responsible for the sidewalk. They NEVER clear the snow on that corner.
ACG January 08, 2013 at 10:28 AM
Most all of my neighbors & I had cleared our sidewalks last weekend. The street on the other hand never saw any sand/salt and even with the "warmer" weather is still covered with ice. The empty gas station on North St NEVER clears the side walk nor does 7-11.
Bob January 08, 2013 at 11:26 AM
It's like this all over Salem. Last storm during the parking ban, cars were parked on the sidewalk as well as street and plows couldn't do a good job on Becket St. No tickets or tows. Why put a ban on and then don't enforce it on these idiots that don't obey it and make it hard for us that do. They are the same people who don't shovel there sidewalks.
gene January 08, 2013 at 11:46 AM
I will preface this by acknowledging that I clean the sidewalk in front of my home and clean it from snow for its full width. However, who's sidewalk is it? It's not mine, it's the city's. If the sidewalk is in need of repair who fixes it - the city. If a sewer or water line breaks the city will repair the line up to the house side of the sidewalk. Therefore, why is a person subject to sanctions for not removing snow from property he or she doesn't own?
Bob January 08, 2013 at 11:58 AM
If it's the city's sidewalk then why can you be sued if I fall on it and crack my backsides? Also it's time more people start being nieghborly and kind to there nieghbors and shovel so they don't fall. Unfortunatly, most people don't even know there nieghbors names anymore.
Pat January 08, 2013 at 12:10 PM
I know. And I have two dogs so I am forced to walk the streets. I can't tell you how many times I have slipped and fallen. Just lucky that I didn't seriously hurt myself. I have a friend in Lynn who has been fined $25 each time she neglected to shovel her walks. She's having them shovelled now!! Salem needs to do the same...
Leo Jodoin January 08, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Chris if you want to put in a complaint it is the Director of public properties (Building inspector) you have to contact, i know this issue to well and have been fighting it since before 2000, and it's not just the side walks that are at issue here, what about morons pushing snow into the streets from their drive ways and parking lots, this takes parking away and makes it hard for emergency vehicles to pass remember every second counts, plus i have shoveled the fire hydrant in front of my house for over the last 50 years, it is very important that we do our part as neighbors to have a more enjoyable neighborhood and city, and one more very important thing here how about our senior who may live next door, some can't shovel because of their age my neighbors and i see to it that they are taken care of they can't afford to be fined they have to think of all the cost they have just to get by and we love helping them it really makes us feel really good too! just a thought! Leo :)
christine January 08, 2013 at 01:23 PM
They don't have anywhere to park their cars, The city allowed so many units per house in the past without even considering off street parking, and besides when the cars are on the sidewalk then the snow doesn't cover them and its a win win situation, I parked my car down the train station during a snow storm and it was broken into and I almost got hit walking in the street to get it so I could go to work.
gene January 08, 2013 at 01:28 PM
You may be able to be sued but who said the injured person will win? Being sued does not equal liability. Maintenance of the sidewalks is solely within the realm of the city. A neighbor of mine was reprimanded by the city when he redid his driveway and extended it out onto the sidewalk.
Linda McGrath January 08, 2013 at 01:29 PM
I was very surprised that the sidewalks here were not cleared of snow and ice. We just moved from N.Y where the snow removal laws are very strictly enforced. The sidewalk must be cleared four hours after the snow stops or a fine is issued. I once had my walk cleared but the temperature warmed overnight and some snow melted and refroze the next morning so there were a few icy patches. Before I could get someone to clear it I had a hundred dollar ticket in my mailbox. The city makes a lot of money fining for snow and litter. I just read that the fine here is only $25.00, perhaps it needs to be raised? I hate being house bound because inconsiderate people don't clear the sidewalks. My other complaint is the amount of dog poop that's not picked up by irresponsible owners but that be fodder for another blog.
Pat January 08, 2013 at 03:31 PM
I'm just happy it's going to warm up. The sun and above-average temps will take care of the remaining ice. However, i dread the next snow storm. Wish someone in City Hall would take note of this blog!!
Bob January 08, 2013 at 04:55 PM
I see your from NY. I think it breaks down to this. Us Giants fans clean our sidewalks and the Patriots fans could care less. Don't you agree?
gene January 08, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Bob since the Giants aren't in the playoffs you guys have more time.
Linda McGrath January 08, 2013 at 08:22 PM
You may have a point Bob. :) I'm a proper Salemite now though, can't wait until October so I can crab and snark about the tourists, I'll feel official then. I actually love it here snow, dog poop, pan handlers and all.

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