By Diana Sullivan, Disability Rights & Access Specialist
Many of us look forward to having some snow during the winter—we are, after all, living in Wisconsin. For many people who have disabilities, snow can be a dreaded phenomenon—especially when people don’t shovel their sidewalks and street corners get plowed in with snow from the roads.
The city of Milwaukee has more than 40,000 street corner locations and 4,200 bus stops. The city snow clearing practices at these bus stops and pedestrian curb cuts take place after the completion of the general street snow plow operations. Typically, citywide snow plowing occurs only after 4 to 6 inches of snow has accumulated. Most laws relating to snow removal use words like a “reasonable” amount of time to clear accumulated snow; however, the city requires property owners and businesses to clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of the end of a snowfall or they can be issued a notice. If the snow is not cleared within the next 24 hours, a sanitation crew will clear the snow and the residence/business will be charged.
Some neighbors are better at snow clearing than others. When a corner home resident clears their sidewalk and curb cut, the street plows may fill up that recently shoveled curb cut with snow that often turns to thick ice in certain weather conditions. This makes it almost impossible for people (both with and without disabilities) to trek over these mountains of ice. This becomes very problematic.
Sometimes, homeowners who are unable (due to age or disability) to shovel their sidewalks have to hire someone to do it for them, or they can contact the Sanitation Department for the City of Milwaukee and request the city shovel their snow on the public sidewalks at their homes. There is a $10.00 cost for this service and residents have to apply to the city to receive this service.
MILWAUKEE RESIDENTS – SAVE THESE NUMBERS
If your route is inaccessible due to snow blocking curb cuts, crosswalks or sidewalks, call 414-286-2489 V/Relay to report the problem.
If you need the City of Milwaukee to shovel your public sidewalk, call for an application at 414-286-3345 V/Relay.
If you live in another community, call your municipality Public Works Department to find out who you can contact to have snow removed in your community… AND THEN POST IT ON THIS BLOG SO EVERYONE CAN GO BOLDLY WHERE SOME PEOPLE CAN EASILY GO.