Snow removal rules support disabled Northlanders

DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 DULUTH) – During the winter months, it’s easy to let shoveling fall to the bottom of the to-do list, but for some, a clear sidewalk makes all the difference.

Residents and businesses are responsible for keeping sidewalks clear for all.

“It could be a wheelchair, it could be a bicycle, it could be a stroller,” said Kate Van Daele of the City of Duluth. “We really have an obligation to make sure everyone can get around.”

Last year, the City of Duluth implemented a snow removal policy.

Residents and businesses have 24 hours after the snow stops to clear their sidewalks or face fines.

Indeed, for residents with disabilities, an uncleared sidewalk is a big obstacle.

According to advocacy groups like the Minnesota Council on Disability, snowy sidewalks aren’t just an inconvenience; they can also be dangerous.

In some cases, people who cannot walk on sidewalks will move onto streets and increase their chances of being hit by a vehicle.

The groups remind businesses to ensure ramps are shoveled, pre-treated for ice and disabled parking areas are free of snow.

It’s not just the right thing to do; it’s the law.

“We’re just asking people to consider doing what’s best for them not only, which is a requirement, but also helping people get around,” Van Daele said.

If a resident or business you know is not following Duluth’s snow removal policy, you can find resources here.

The city said it is stepping up enforcement this year.

Copyright 2021 KBJR. All rights reserved.

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