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Today's Poll: Whose responsibility is it to clear snow from sidewalks?

Eric [Rick] von k...
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I have always thought that is was unfair to make a home owner responsible for sidewalk maintenance/replacement, or snow removal. If it required by the city you have to do it, period! If you want it changed, then work to have it changed, but remember it WILL be reflected in your taxes. You can't have it both ways.

John Roach
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Sidewalk replacement was taken over as a totally city responsibility years ago, which is one reason why they never get fixed. Taxes would have to be much higher.

Clearing the walks of snow is a property owner responsibility, or we would have to hire more people and buy more sidewalk plows, and people would complain about the taxes needed to pay for them.

Doug Yeomans
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When I owned a house in the city of Rochester, I always kept the sidewalks cleared in front of my house and and the neighbor's, too. I also kept the hydrant in front of my house clear of snow. It shouldn't matter whose responsibility it is. As a courtesy to yourself and everyone else, keep sidewalks and hydrants clear if you're able. Your safety and the safety of your neighbors is a shared responsibility.

Ron C Welker
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Hummmmmmmmmmm seens the rule only applys to some of us. A day or two after we have snow try walking south on Buell st and then north on Ellicott st. Hint; "Have snow shoes on".

Mark Potwora
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The only problem is the city does nothing to those that don't clear their sidewalk.So if they don't enforce the law why would anyone worry about it ...

tim raines
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@ Mr Roach

Taxes would have to be higher??

You are living in a city/county with one of the highest property/school taxes in the whole country.

20 times more than what I pay.

The assessors should reduce your home assessments by 25% and include trash pick up, sidewall snow removal and decent paved streets.

And throw in free pizza and wings.

Where does the money go??

Stop the madness........

Bob Price
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It's pretty sad to see residents having to walk in Main St. due to the fact the sidewalks aren't clear. Especially to the dumb ass private plow trucks that bank it up ONTO the sidewalk-case in point-the W.Main sidewalk in front of Bank of Castile entrance,Denny's side. I would say there should be an exception for elderly or handicapped homeowners.If a person is hit in the roadway due to a sidewalk not being cleared,besides the MV operator,would the resident be also responsible?

Richard Richmond II
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One of the best decisions I every made was to buy a snow thrower 15 years ago. It sure beats the heck out of shoveling.

I don’t mind doing the sidewalks or driveways for people who can’t. It is a common courtesy as well as good citizenship.

When I was old enough to walk alone down to the Centennial Park with my sled, my Dad said I was old enough to shovel our driveway; the driveway always came first. We didn’t have sidewalks on our side of Ross Street and there are no sidewalks there now.

When I was old enough to work at my Dad’s Sunoco Station on the corner of School & Center, I shoveled out that lot too, and you know, it didn’t kill, even during the Blizzard of 77; we were open for business during that whopper of a storm.

My father grew up during the Great Depression in Niagara Falls NY. People on public assistant, my Grandfather included for a time, were required when called upon to work, even if the job was temporary, a day, half-a-day or so, mostly manual labor or farm work.

Dad told me how the County would come around the neighborhoods in trucks to pick up the men (my grandfather) to shovel out the railroad crossings, the County Nursing Home, hospitals etc when it snowed heavily.

Pretty much everybody did their fair share....different times, different people.

Mark Brudz
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Mr. Richmond is dead On, different times, different people.

Thirty or forty years ago it was unthinkable not to shovel your sidewalk, it was a common courtesy, I run my snow blower over several neighbors sidewalks, sometimes even the front of their driveways, and many of them do the same for me, depends on who gets out there first sometimes.

People it sometimes seems, have forgotten what being neighborly is, our lives are filled with way different priorities although, when you really think about it, being conscience of others by clearing sidewalks, fire hydrants etc, is really just the right thing to do, no matter who is actually responsible.

And Mr. Raines. although myself I am with you on watching where tax dollars go, consider this, there is a reason why taxes are 20 times higher in the North East over the South and South East, 120+ inches of snow a year makes maintaining roads 20 Times more expensive here than in Marietta GA. NOT saying that we don't need to rein in spending, just saying that there are associated cost depending on where you live.

I hate when that Sidewalk plow rolls down my street, it damages my lawn, throws snow back into my driveway. Whether you rent or own, shoveling a sidewalk is being neighborly in my opinion, and when someone is physically unable too, it is the neighborly thing to take a few minutes to do it for them.

C. M. Barons
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I shovel/snowblow the sidewalk in front of my house. The Village of Bergen also plows the sidewalks. Between my efforts, my neighbors' efforts and the village efforts, the sidewalks are generally clear for foot-traffic. I don't know who's responsibility sidewalk-clearing is, probably depends on whether the question is framed within the context of civic duty or legal liability. In my mind, it is a partnership of community desire for safety and convenience.

I do know that it is the Town, State and Village responsibility to keep the roads clear. The other evening when upwards of 16 inches of snow fell on our region, I left work at 12:40 AM intent on getting home from West Henrietta. No roads were plowed from John St., to Bailey Rd., to East River Rd., to Jefferson Rd., to Archer Rd., to Beaver Rd., to 33A until I was beyond West Chili- where the eastbound lane was clear (I was westbound). Both lanes were not clear until I entered the Town of Riga (kudos to Riga Highway Dept.). 33A was clear through Riga to Bergen. 33 East from 33A at Bergen looked like it hadn't seen traffic or plow at all. I deferred to 19, hoping it would be in better shape. It wasn't, but I had no option. Immediately I was confronted with a vehicle stuck in the middle of the road. I was able to negotiate past on the right. None of the village streets appeared to have been plowed. I fish-tailed through, alternating between 2nd and 3rd gear to reach my street. I cleared my driveway, the sidewalk and half the street in front of my house to accommodate getting my truck off the street.

I drove most of the way home from Henrietta in 3rd gear. I had to contend with ruts left by the few cars that had passed through ahead of me. Most of them made the choice to drive down the middle of the road. Luckily I met only four opposing vehicles. I NEVER encountered ONE snowplow.

When I finished my snow-clearing and got in the house, I called Bergen-mayor Marsocci to inquire as to why the plows were out of service. I ended up apologizing for waking him at 2:30 because (according to him) it is the town's responsibility to clear 19 and 33. He assured me that the plows would be on village streets at 4 AM. I reminded him that I would be in bed by then.

Maybe we've been spoiled by recent winters with little snow. Maybe budgets for snow-removal have been slashed because of the lousy economy. The question remains: why is it Riga can keep its roads safe and other communities fail? This was a 1/2-day winter storm NOT a 3-day blizzard!

Mike Weaver
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CM, it doesn't seem all that long ago that roads were getting salted in anticipation of a snow/ice event. And roads were actively plowed DURING the snow storms. I don't know if it is budget related or not but my impression today is that the plows don't come out until the snow storm is over. Sure, main routes are kept clear during snow storms, the communities get reimbursed for maintenance of these roads by the county/state, correct? But non-county/state roads appear to me to only get plowed after the storm has ended.

C. M. Barons
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The roads that I mentioned by route number (33A, 33 and 19) are state highways. Jefferson Rd. through Archer/Beaver Rds. is also a state highway, 252.

Doug Yeomans
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Mike, what town do you live in? I drove from East Bethany to Webster the morning after the storm and I started out @ 4:40am. Every road and between here and there was wide open. I heard the plows go past my house on East Rd numerous times during the night.

Deb Wagner
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If they are not going to plow the sidewalks then why waist the tax payers money putting the stakes up around the sidewalks all over city to show them where the sidewalk plows should go. Instead of waisting money on stupid things buy a sidewalk plow and what about the truck plows doing driveways, they push 5 feet of snow blocking the sidewalk, are we supposed to move that to?

Kyle Couchman
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I am stupid but I have always up until the last 3 years been involved with snow removal here or in the fingerlakes (Ithaca) It was always a courtesy to do sidewalks. Now during this storm I myself was up and even though on a "stay off my feet" medical order. I shoveled myself my neighbors and a path to the road.

I was wishing for a snowblower, however sometimes good old fashioned shovel is what is needed. For those who wait, all you do is make your job harder. After a few people walk on and pack and refreeze snow, you have twice the work, snowblower or shovel. As far as the plows go Swan St between Ellicott and Main was hit at least 1 time an hour since dark. Also people you need to remember to slow down and make sure you are prepared for winter. A storm in process you sometimes are safer driving on a little snowpack then on a surface that is salted, plowed, melted and refroze then cleared again.

John Woodworth JR
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Kyle that is the military in you. I do believe that residents need to but, if they failed to do so, then the city should clear the sidewalks and add it the property tax of the resident who is responsible for that section. I took my car in for new snow tires then went to Settler's. I had to walk on the street because, neither the business owner nor the city clear the intersection crosswalks. Then you had some section of the sidewalk clear other parts not. I understand that people pay taxes for city services but, then who would sit around drinking coffee at the Highway Department all day. Most of the time clearing the streets of Batavia involves alot of dumping salt which creates alot of slush and makes for extreme hazardous conditions.

Kyle Couchman
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Give me a 9$ an hour wage, a semi decent snowblower and a fuel budget, I will embarass those on the city staff that were responsible for this. Same for lawns and yards ( I might need a bit of training on city code for that) Maybe I can talk myself into a job for the city.

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