New, Safer Plan Needed for Snow Removal

While the article from Mayor Dickson ("Dickson Releases Statement on Snow / Ice Removal") is informative, it is of limited help to residents of Summit when facing the reality of snow removal around their driveways, sidewalks and walkways.  The storm that arrived this Wednesday, February 5, dumped heavy, slushy accumulations that were very hard to remove.  My neighbors and I waited until late that afternoon to clear up, after the city plows had come by and the blacktop on our street was clear and visible.  I finished my sidewalk cleanup at 5PM, a job that took two hours to complete by 3 people.  However, that same night, city plows came by and filled up a large portion of the sidewalk that had been cleared as well as those that my neighbors had cleaned up and also as filling in our driveway entrances with hard, icy clumps that were well frozen into position by daybreak on Thursday, February 6.  

I emailed both the mayor and to Beth Kinney at the Department of Community Affairs early on that morning (February 6) to alert them to this as our street is a main roadway and pedestrian walkway to Summit High School.  To date neither has responded and currently most of the sidewalks are now not usable which makes our street dangerous for pedestrians.  With the forecast for below freezing temperatures for quite a while, it is unlikely that any of the affected areas will improve and most of the chunks thrown from the street are heavy and now deeply frozen into place.
I have lived in Summit for 31 years and it has always been a challenge to get around here after any amount of snow falls.  My story is not unique, it is the "norm" for Summit plows to throw street refuse back onto cleared sidewalks and most residents as well as business owners will have had the same experience.  Walking around downtown Summit yesterday mid-day was difficult at best due to the many icy sidewalks there as well.

It would be more helpful to have a new plan for safer street clean up on the part of the city plows at this time.

Thank you.

Deborah Halpern

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