I slipped on the packed snow/ice on your sidewalk while walking the dog this morning. It's nothing serious, but my ankle is sore. Unfortunately, it's not the first time this has happened on your sidewalk.Those of us that live on the South Side see folks fall on the sidewalk every weekend, generally between the hours of 1 and 3:30 am. They are drunk, of course.
You take great care of your home and your yard, so I'm asking you to extend that care to the sidewalk around your house.
Did you know that it's a city ordinance to remove snow and ice within 24 hours of a snowfall? (see the code below) Granted, the chances of actually getting a ticket are slim, but there are other ways your bank account could take a hit. Imagine how your insurance company might react if I were injured enough to file a claim for medical treatment.
Forget the legalities and cash costs, though. Cleaning the sidewalk should be something you do as a courtesy to the kids going to/from school, your neighbors walking to/from the bus stop, folks walking their dogs, or someone just enjoying a walk in the evening.
Am I asking you to clean the snow as it hits the concrete? Of course not! But it has been a couple days since the snow fell and your sidewalk is still covered with it, all of it now packed down and slick.
Maybe you're thinking "Did you slip in front of my house?" If you have to ask that question, then the answer is "yes!"
So why not shovel the snow today. And maybe toss down some salt or other de-icer. It's the neighborly, safe and legal thing to do.
City of Pittsburgh Code #419.03 REMOVAL OF SNOW AND ICE.
Every tenant, occupant or owner having the care or charge of any land or building fronting on any street in the city, where there is a sidewalk paved with concrete, brick, stone or other material shall, within twenty-four (24) hours after the fall of any snow or sleet, or the accumulation of ice caused by freezing rainfall, cause the same to be removed from the sidewalk.
The first snowfalls of the year generally don't stick to our sidewalks due to the Ph values of the pavement -- thanks to a year's worth of urine build-up.
Furthermore, if a guy falls around here, he has to pick his spot with care to avoid the vomit. Vomit is very slippery in and of it self. Folks have been seen doing cartwheels just to avoid stepping in vomit -- making graceful dodges risky.
Our neighbors with dogs, like the guy who wrote this post, are always great at keeping a tidy neighborhood, so no need to mention poop.
I'd like to make a new city ordinance about those that would leave human waste on our sidewalks and private property. We don't really need, nor are we going to get, an ordinance that limits the number of bars in commercial business districts. We need to curb the bad boy behaviors from the patrons of these bars. It isn't the bar that comes and drops its pants or leaves its lunch. Those without the respect are the half-brained drunks.
If you puke on the sidewalk, and don't clean up the mess within 30 minutes, pay $500. And, the friends in your party each pay $100. And, the place that served you that night, recently or prior, pays $200.
Furthermore, none of the money collected from the fines goes to the city. It goes to the property owner who files the complaint. And, that money goes as a tax free grant to be used only on on property upgrades and property enhancements.
Paint your house. Buy a refrigerator. Install a new video camera.
This would be a citizen vs. citizen case in front of the district magistrate.