How to Keep Your Sidewalk Clear & Accessible for Disabled People
Something many of us can agree on is how difficult it is to climb over an unshoveled sidewalk in the winter time. However, something most of us don’t have to worry about is how to get through it in a wheelchair, or with mobility issues, or with a walking cane, or with a guide dog, etc. The point being, even though it’s something we might not consciously think about, we should always try to keep our sidewalks clear and accessible for everyone, especially individuals with disabilities who might have extra difficulty making the trek through the snow.
Saratoga County disability advocate Darlene McGraw gives her thoughts on the city’s snow removal methods, saying she’s overall satisfied with their efforts. However, she makes a good point that oftentimes a sidewalk may be cleared, but not accessible. As an example, she points to a crosswalk push button that has piles of snow pushed up against the pole, stating “the snow is impacting our ability to push the button” -Darlene McGraw (CBS 6 News). Something most of us don’t even think twice about could negatively affect someone else’s entire day.
The Capital District Center for Independence reports that many of its 1,400 clients face challenges like these every winter. Executive Director Laurel Kelley comments on the topic, saying:
We also hear about people who are in wheelchairs, and they have to go out into the street to get around the snowy sidewalks and that’s dangerous for everyone -Executive Director Laurel Kelley (CBS 6 News)
Aside from doing your part to help disabled people, you'll also want to make sure you're keeping up with snow removal regulations so it doesn't cost you in fines. Check out Chrissy's article for all the Capital Region's rules.
Snow Management Tips from an Upstater
If you want more generalized tips for surviving the winter weather, take a look at Upstate's Declassified Winter Weather Survival Guide.