Sidewalks, public or private?
I seldom walk back and forth on the public sidewalk in front of my house. However, dog walkers, joggers and others make public use of it.
Dogs are often permitted to leave their calling card in the grass. (I love them but that end is another story). But does this prove somewhat that sidewalks are a public facilities, something we all own jointly?
I wonder how that public area between my front property line and the curb, accessible to everybody became my responsibility?
The street in front of my property is public. The snow on the street is cleared away quite regularly by the Village. Why not the snow on the sidewalk? What's the logic? Do I own only the snow on the sidewalk and not on the street?
My neighbor and I each have snow blowers as do my neighbors across the street. We regularly clear the snow from the walk before it gets too trampled on.
If all the costs of snow equipment and the immeasurable cost of heart attacks and broken bones were added up collectively for everyone clearing snow in Shorewood, we might find it cheaper if Shorewood were to remove the snow as it does on the street and in alleys and on some parking lots.
If we're really interested in a “walkable” community it seems that snow on sidewalks is a public affair and the clearing more efficiently done if it were done by the Village. Perhaps then we could sell our private snow removal equipment and donate the money to improving Atwater Beach or donate it to the School system.
It seems that in snow country, we would have solved this problem generations ago. The elimination of this service, for whatever reason should require a specific tax refund to cover the cost of snow removal on public property.
Perhaps then each block could hire some snow removal company to do that. I suppose it makes just as much sense for the same block to to hire a trash removing company.
Wait a minute. Does that include the pot holes too? Isn't that what some of the tax to the Village is doing now? Here is the logic and here is the question of the century, who owns the sidewalks?
If we can answer that, perhaps then we can answer the bigger question, "who owns the snow?"