Letter: Warning - snow-packed sidewalks coming soon

Editor of the Reformer:

I have lived within walking distance of downtown Brattleboro for the past 14 years, and I am concerned about the inadequate snow and ice removal along sidewalks in our town. As a Brattleboro resident, I regularly walk into town to shop, go to restaurants, and for exercise. Because of the lack of adequate snow removal for many years now, I have had to climb over cumbersome snow banks, abandon the sidewalk and walk in the street, and I have slipped and fallen on icy sidewalks, seriously injuring my knee several years ago. As the parent of a young child, the condition of the sidewalks was particularly concerning to me when I was pushing a stroller or carrying my baby through these dangerous conditions. Presently, the sidewalks are not plowed for the first half of the route to our child's school, so we have to walk her on the road. Our concerns will only grow when she is old enough to walk herself to school. I cannot imagine how difficult (impossible?) it must be for my neighbors with mobility issues who are confined to wheel chairs or need to walk with canes or walkers through these conditions in the winter.

Therefore, as a Brattleboro taxpayer and resident, I strongly urge the Brattleboro Select Board to support the recommendations of the Traffic Safety Committee for the following improvements: Annual sidewalk budget increases in the capital fund budget, as proposed last year, so that the current FY budget of $50,000 would increase to $60, 000 in FY19; the purchase of a second sidewalk plow so that the 14-and-a-half miles (of 35 total) of sidewalks are plowed in a timely manner; and making sidewalk plowing a higher priority by ensuring adequate personnel to operate two sidewalk plows.

Sheila Humphreys,

Brattleboro, Nov. 5


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