As I drove around the streets of the hilltops of south Pittsburgh over the past week, what struck me was the health and safety issue of all the uncleared sidewalks in front of many city residences and empty lots. I then remembered the useless street cleaning by the big machines driven around during the months between April and November. They really do nothing except move the dirt around and provide some income to the city by the enforcement vehicle that drives around behind the street cleaner, issuing tickets to vehicles that are in the way of the cleaner.
Wouldn't it be a much more effective use of manpower to hire people to clean the streets manually? Trash might actually be removed! In the inclement weather, the enforcement vehicle could issue citations to those who do not clean their walks, and charge them a fee for snow removal, providing the city with income much the way the street cleaning does. Then utilize the manpower to clean the walks of the city-owned properties.
Unshoveled walks are much more of a health hazard (than streets that are cleaned twice a month) to those who have to walk to the store, the bus, etc. In addition they are a detriment to receiving emergency medical care if, God forbid, it needs to be summoned. With the many elderly in Allegheny County, I would think that we would be more conscientious about keeping the walks cleared.