Starting in mid-December the city of Grand Rapids will be clearing snow off of sidewalks across the city. The $100,000 contract was awarded to local company Lavelle’s Lawn Care & Snowplowing. And Aaminah Shakur who has a disablity and is a local advocate for people with disabilities says that snow and ice on sidewalks can make the city unnavigable for many.
“So, if you have a clean sidewalk it means somebody in a wheelchair for example or somebody who is blind and using a cane or using a service animal or anything like that has better access but ultimately it benefits literally everybody. It makes safer for children, it makes safer for anybody who is abled walking down that sidewalk.”
In Grand Rapids, residents have twenty for hours to clear the snow off the sidewalks directly in front of where they live and those who don’t clear risk receiving a citation or notice of noncompliance which gives the resident up to 48 hours to clear their side walk of any snow and ice. If they don’t clear they are forced to pay a fee.
Now, this pilot program will be targeting the southeast and southwest side of the city and plowing 100 miles of sidewalks. According to the official plan documents the areas selected for the program were chosen because a high number of older adults, people with disabilities and children live in those areas.
Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News.