To the editor,
Why is it ok for homeowners on Broadway in Lawrence, Cedarhurst and Woodmere to ignore their responsibility to shovel the sidewalks in front of their homes? Time and again, days and days after a snowstorm, pedestrians must struggle to walk on the sidewalks, risking a fall on the ice and packed snow. Wheelchairs, strollers and the elderly and infirm have no chance of passage and even strong healthy walkers are endangered with each step taken.
Walkers are forced to walk in the street [where] there is no leeway since it is covered in snow and ice. In our towns we are forced to climb over small snow mountains to insert our quarters into parking meters risking a ticket for non-compliance, while the homeowners remain scot free as they endanger walkers.
In NYC, shovel-scoffers are issued fines ranging from $150 to $350. Here is an easy opportunity for our towns to collect funds by ticketing those who don’t remove snow from their walkways. I’m not talking about cul-de-sacs or small side streets which rarely even get plowed, but homeowners on [thoroughfares] like Central Avenue, West Broadway, Broadway, Rockaway Turnpike, Woodmere Boulevard, Cedarhurst Avenue, Washington Avenue and Peninsula Boulevard.
I understand that we have some snowbirds in the area, but they must make the effort to have a neighbor or service take care of this critical responsibility. Today I noticed that private walkways and even driveways were cleared, while the path directly in front of the house was left an icy mess. I don’t think they would enjoy dealing with a lawsuit should someone G-d forbid hurt themselves badly on the hidden sidewalk.
We learn in the Torah that one must not put a stumbling block before a person. Where is the respect due to our neighbors? I’ve already slipped twice this winter while walking very mindfully and slowly and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Miriam B. Abrahams, Woodmere