For safety, keep sidewalks clear of snow

The time of year has come when snow will be a regular part of the landscape. Christmas Day was ushered out with ice that lingered into Monday.

In some parts of the city, it lingers still.

Sidewalks and other walkways clogged with snow or a treacherous crust of ice are hazards that could potentially deal out bruises and broken bones to those trying to cross.

For some, that’s too high a price. Older residents regularly can be seen walking in the streets, alongside the traffic, after a winter weather event rather than risk trying to navigate a sidewalk left unshoveled or unsalted.

For the elderly, the hazard can create a shut-in’s existence.

Shoveling and treating sidewalks and walkways is never fun. As the snowfalls pile up, it can become a seemingly futile task.

But it’s a necessary one, too. Leaving the layers to accumulate until warmer temperatures return is dangerous and irresponsible — and unneighborly.

The city of Iron Mountain does have an ordinance on the books that requires clearing the sidewalks, but it’s rarely enforced.

It shouldn’t have to be. Nor should it take a complaint to spur people to meet their responsibility.

It’s part of life in a community that residents keep their sidewalks clear and, if on a corner, any cutout ramps at street crossings. Fire hydrants, too, need to be accessible; that’s as much for your safety as the neighborhood’s.

So take the time to shovel off that walkway. If you know of someone nearby that physically can’t do the task themselves, consider stepping in to help.

Show some respect and consideration for others in your community. Make sure all can safely walk even in winter, be it to school or work or to shop. It shouldn’t be a gamble to try to traverse the sidewalks.