Dig We Must!

The winter’s first snow is gone from most sidewalks.

Thank Mother Nature for that. Not your fellow Westporters.

Several days ago — after a few inches fell here — alert “06880” reader Tracy Yost ventured out. She calls her journey on Cross Highway and Main Street “harrowing.” Only 4 homeowners had shoveled their sidewalks.

Cross Highway ...

Cross Highway …

The next day she tried to walk at Compo Beach. Those walkways were not clear either.

This being 2016, Tracy did the natural thing: She posted on Facebook. She described her frustration, and asked what she could do about it.

Reaction was swift. Several people thought that homeowners are required to clear “one shovel width” of their sidewalk. Others noted that in Norwalk and Fairfield, that’s definitely the law.

Tracy followed up with Westport town and officials. Lo and behold: The same 15 guys who plow are responsible for clearing sidewalks. They begin with schools and town buildings, so regular sidewalks are clearly not Priority 1.

... and the new Main Street sidewalk. (Photos/Tracy Yost)

… and the new Main Street sidewalk. (Photos/Tracy Yost)

Tracy suggests that homeowners do the right thing anyway, and shovel the walks in front of their homes.

“For some people — the elderly come to mind — walking is the only way to exercise, see people, get food, go to the doctor,” she says.

“For others — like me —  it’s a way to walk the dogs, check in on neighbors, use the car less.”

For everyone, of course, safe streets — including clear sidewalks  and slow driving — make for a better community.

Or, as Bridgeport mayor Jasper McLevy famously said when asked when his city would begin plowing: “God put the snow there. Let him take it away.”

2 responses to “Dig We Must!

  1. Joyce Barnhart

    Other than sidewalks in front of commercial spaces, it seems that sidewalks in Westport are on the routes that were used by children walking to school. That means miles of sidewalk around town to shovel when it snows. How can the town possibly do it all? It really isn’t the homeowners’ responsibility?

  2. Patricia A. Kosiba

    I currently live in Stratford, however, I grew up (since age 5 (1955)) in Westport and my parents were in the town until 1997. My street in Westport did not have a sidewalk. However, I have a sidewalk and fire hydrant off my property on the Stratford town property. It is the law in Stratford to shovel the sidewalk and a 3 foot area around the fire hydrant in case of a fire on our street. That is also the law in Fairfield (I lived there for over 20 years). http://www.fairfieldct.org/snowremoval
    Why can’t Westport put in a similar law like Stratford and Fairfield?