Sick of blocked sidewalks during the winter due to unshoveled snow? Councilmember Golombek is proposing we look at how to fix that. 

Last week, Councilmember Golombek reintroduced a bill to look at the cost and feasibility of hiring an outside contractor to manage sidewalk snow removal in the City of Buffalo. The reintroduction follows a driver hitting a couple on Lincoln Parkway on Christmas as they viewed Christmas lights. The pair were traversing the street as the sidewalks were not accessible for mobility devices such as the wheelchair used by one of the victims due to snow blockage and the absence of curb ramps. The driver left the scene. 

Neighboring cities, including Rochester and Syracuse, have sidewalk snow clearing programs. In Syracuse, a city contractor clears 80 miles of sidewalk when snow accumulation exceeds 3 inches. In Rochester, city contractors provide supplemental snow clearing services when snow accumulation exceeds 4 inches. Rochester clears 878 miles of sidewalk. The City of Buffalo has 2,000 miles of sidewalk.

Do you support a sidewalk snow removal program? If so, how should it be funded? How should we decide which sidewalks to clear? The common council will discuss the proposal on Tuesday, January 12, at 2 pm. If you are interested in speaking at the council meeting, please drop a line in advance to Bill Doll. View the meeting on the Common Council Facebook page.  

As a reminder, homeowners in the City of Buffalo are legally responsible for sidewalk snow removal in front of their homes. Snowfall from the night before must be removed by 9:00 am the following morning. An overview of the City of Buffalo’s snow removal policy is available here

Photo: A bike tire track in the snow by Lorie Shaull from Noun Project.