The first major snowfall of the season fell in east central Illinois and western Indiana a week ago Friday, yet many of the area’s streets and sidewalks remained clogged. That needs to change.
The first significant snowfall of the year always brings an adjustment, both for the public — those who must go out and drive or walk to destinations — and to municipal employees who are charged with clearing away Mother Nature’s winter bounty.
Road crews did a great job on major throughfares and highways. Many sidestreets, however, still can be a bit of an obstacle course in many communities. Cities and towns face tight budgets, that’s understood. And clearing snow in a timely manner can cost overtime in addition to the expense of salt and maintenance of equipment. But the job must be done, and as quickly as possible.
Homeowners also should do what they can to clear sidewalks. A trip along North Vermilion Street on Tuesday showed many sidewalks untouched since the snow fell, forcing pedestrians to walk in the street. And that situation adds another whole level of hazards for drivers and pedestrians alike.
City officials should consider an ordinance to ones used in Champaign and Urbana requiring snow to be cleared in designated areas within a certain amount of time following storm.
The first snowstorm always brings adjustments, we we said. Let’s hope streets and as sidewalks look much better after the next storm comes along.