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City Responds Fast to Citizen Snow Removal Question

Highland Park clears way for students to get to Northwood Middle School after resident complains about blockage.

When Highland Park officials learned this path needed plowing to help children get to school, they responded promptly.
When Highland Park officials learned this path needed plowing to help children get to school, they responded promptly.

When Highland Park Public Works Director Ramesh Kanapareddy learned children walking to Northwood Middle School were having difficulty overcoming high piled snow he quickly did something about it.

The footpath connecting the Highwood portion of North Avenue with the Highland Park section at Western Avenue was not being plowed putting a mound of snow higher than some of the students between them and their education.

“City crews remove the snow as quickly as we can,” Kanapareddy said. “When we learn about something we are missing, we remedy it promptly.” A citizen called him last week and let him know about the footpath. It was clear by the time students returned to school after winter break.

Up until this past summer there was no path. That is when the City redid the landscaping on Western Avenue where it blocks traffic from North Avenue putting in a footpath that did not exist before. There was nothing to plow before this winter.

“This is a partnership between the community, the Public Works Department and the City,” Kanapareddy said. “There are 30,000 people who can report to us where work needs to be done.”

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Stu Pidasso January 09, 2014 at 11:09 PM
?????? is this the same person that said " these people expect too much" Hmmmmm
Gordon Kenmuir January 10, 2014 at 09:33 AM
Yeah he is the same guy, who when I asked about side walk plowing, was told "we don't do that, it is down to individual businesses and homeowners" That is a fine approach when it is used consistently and monitored appropriately. Hoever, what in reality happens is that homeowners only care about driveways because Americans generally don't walk anywhere, and us pedestrians have to climb over both mounds put there by driveway plows and wade through feet of snow on sidewalks, which is rarely if ever cleared. I had thought HP employed sidewalk plows, but was informed that was only done occasionally and should not be counted upon, which make it even harder to be reliable. Finally of course, they don't want to actually enforce the obligations of home owners to clear their sidewalks, so hardly anyone does, as there is no "penalty", because apparently enforcement is too hard and generally unpopular.
Highlands HP'er January 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM
Gordon, Property taxes here are high enough. Sidewalk plowing would be very expensive. Think about how many sidewalks this village has? You would probably need 20-30 guys on the payroll to do this kind of thing. If they only did "some" of the sidewalks whose sidewalks should they do? It would look like favoritism. There just isn't going to be a popular/easy solution to this problem.
Gordon Kenmuir January 10, 2014 at 10:35 AM
Which I am fine with, so then either do it or don't but don't do it sometimes and not others, it allows home owners to be lazy. Then enforce the requirement and make some money from it, which in turn lowers taxes.
Highlands HP'er January 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM
I imagine they do it when there are workers on the clock but no other work to do. In other words, they would likely rather pay them to do something then pay them to do nothing. I would be all for the enforcement of this. Granted, I don't have sidewalks in front of my house :). I imagine this is more an issue of people being cheap. A lot of the people in the area pay firms to clear snow, many seem to pay just for their drive to get plowed out. They likely choose not to pay the extra $$ to get the walk done. Perhaps an ordinance to make it illegal for firms to sell driveway clearing sans sidewalk clearing. Go after the firms.
Gordon Kenmuir January 10, 2014 at 11:43 AM
Well that would be nice, but they don't even go after the firms for blocking sidewalks or plowing snow across the street which is already an ordinance. So basically they wrote a bunch of words and then do nothing about it.
Highlands HP'er January 10, 2014 at 11:55 AM
I guess the only thing that can be done is for people who feel strongly about it to make some noise at city hall. Its hazardous to pedestrians as well as children having to get to school (who may end up walking in the street since sidewalks are blocked). Unfortunately, like many things, it will take someone getting hurt and a lawsuit before anyone does anything.
Gordon Kenmuir January 10, 2014 at 12:18 PM
I have been writing Ramesh every winter for the past several, and mentioned more than once, my children walking in the streets. LArgely they don't seem to cae and I think you are right, it will take a suit to change the behaviour for enforcement, or perhaps people giving a damn about someone other than their own selfish selves
Krista January 10, 2014 at 04:56 PM
My street still has snow and slush on it from Monday. The rain is trying to wash it away I guess.

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