by Diana Nelson Jones/Feb 26
OK, so we've been allowed to slide (no pun intended) for the past few weeks. Lucky us. But starting Monday, the city will begin issuing warnings to city residents who do not clear their sidewalks of snow and ice.
We're always supposed to clear our sidewalks, but obviously, lately, the mayor and the city have been slack on us. I mean, it's the least they could have been, seeing as how they're responsible for having left us with giant volcanic-looking mounds all over the streets and sidewalks.
UPDATE: I got this missive from one reader regarding said mounds created by the city: "Yeah, you should see my street in Mount Washington. I don't live there anymore, but I still own a house there ... I drove there up there the Monday and Wednesday after the big storm to shovel my sidewalk ... don't want to be one of those absentee property owners after all. Then I drove up again on Saturday, Feb. 13. Found two huge plow / dump truck mounds of snow, one DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF MY STEPS, BLOCKING MY ENTRANCE TO THE HOUSE. Called and wrote to 311 to have someone remove this. No response."
Tess McShane of Point Breeze wrote to the mayor to tell him about a dangerous situation she encountered watching a blind man try to navigate around one of the "mammoth glacier-like mounds of snow sprawled across our city streets."
Not sure if she got a response.
We all know the city won't be removing these mountains of snow they created but the party's over for us little guys. Hop to it. Get shovel ready. You never know when someone might get around to issuing a warning.... just never know.
But whoa, what's this? On the city's web site, http://www.pittsburghpa.gov, the Emergency Information Page that came up automatically to remind us we had better start Getting It Done includes this conundrum for some: "Residents are reminded to avoid shoveling snow into the streets."
We have to clear our sidewalks but we can't put the snow in the street. Where the heck would you put it if your home has nothing in front of it but sidewalk and street? I emailed the mayor and his spokesman with this question.
Joanna Doven, the mayor's spokesman, wrote back, "Great question. Wherever they can. We use discretion in citing, understanding there will be instances like this."
Phew! The city's discretion has its up side.