I’ve noticed the recent editorial campaign by the Sun Journal to encourage the removal of snow from sidewalks so that pedestrians can move about the city safely and easily. I applaud the effort. I believe, however, that the audience targeted in the editorials is not the proper audience to be addressing for this problem.

There are two major obstacles to sidewalk snow removal: the city and the property management companies.

In my dealings with the city about the sidewalk snow removal ordinance I’ve been told two things by the city.

First, the city “”isn’t sure what department should enforce it”” and, secondly, even if it was clearly known what city department is responsible for enforcement, the city is not sure how to go about enforcing it.

The city needs to address these issues so that complaints can be dealt with.

The second obstacle to removal of snow from the sidewalks is the property management companies. Their attitude is that “”the snow has to go somewhere,”” and their justification for that attitude is that “”everyone does it.””

What the property management companies seem to overlook is that they manage enough properties to constitute “”the everyone”” they are using to justify pushing snow onto neighboring properties’ sidewalks and front steps.

With the city pointing out at every opportunity that it is the property owners’ responsibility and liability if not done, to clear the sidewalks the city should at least figure out where complaints can be lodged and how to deal with those complaints in a meaningful way.

One would think that it would make sense for the property management companies to avoid whole or partial liability for personal injury by clearing the sidewalks of the properties that they manage as well as not moving snow to abutting properties.

David Hughes, Lewiston


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