It has been a hard week of bicycling commuting for me. The winter snow and ice have made my trips slow going, doubling the time it takes to make my simple two mile journey. Before the storms hit, my backup plan was to simply walk to work if the conditions got too bad. But after traveling the roads for a week, it became apparent that walking may be even tougher. Very few sidewalks had been cleared, offering pedestrians only the option of walking out in the street with the cars. Muscle Powered’s Dan Allison recently wrote a letter to the editor discussing just this issue.

Morning Commute
Shovel those sidewalks!

Clear sidewalks for City’s School Children
by Dan Allison (originally published in the Nevada Appeal)
Our recent snowfall, the biggest since January 2005, has left our sidewalks deep in snow. Many people have cleared their sidewalks already, and those who did so Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning, and had direct sunlight on Tuesday, have clear and dry sidewalks.
Many students walk to school in the snow, some because they chose to, and others because their families have no other transportation options. An uncleared sidewalk is a great hazard to these students, whether they are walking on the snow or are forced into the street.
On behalf of all students in Carson City, I’d like to thank those homeowners, apartment managers and business owners who promptly clear their sidewalks after a storm. Whether on their way to school or the bus stop, these students will be safer because of your effort.
It may be that the city’s snow removal policy, which accepts that sidewalks will be blocked, has not changed, but in actual practice, the city’s snowplow drivers have been much more careful about not throwing snow onto sidewalks this time around.
Drivers, please keep in mind that children and adults will be forced into walking on the edges of the streets until sidewalks are cleared or melt off. Please slow down and give them a wide berth — they are our most vulnerable users and are doing the best they can getting where they need to go.
Dan Allison
Safe Routes to School Coordinator