Get out and shovel — Woman concerned about winter sidewalk safety

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Each Monday, the Sun-Gazette asks somebody in the area, “What’s on your mind?” If you have a topic you would like to share, contact us at

Over the years, Susan Eckard, 24, of Newberry, has taken her share of dives on slippery and unshoveled sidewalks.

On a snow-covered Monday last week, Eckard waited for the River Valley Transit bus at the Trade and Transit Centre, where she talked about the difficulties of maneuvering over sidewalks that are covered in snow or slick with ice. That was two days before the big storm covered the region once again in thick snow.

“I’ve gone down several times,” she said. “I’ve been on sidewalks with snow up to my knees.”

Slate sidewalks, built several decades ago, are the worst, she added.

“They freeze up in large patches,” she said. “I can understand some of the elderly needing help, but there are sidewalks that I know of where people my age live, and they don’t shovel,” she said.

Eckard, who along with her mother has delivered the Sun-Gazette for about 10 years as an independent contractor, said what she’s asking also can help those carrying the mail or delivering packages or fuel.

The city ordinance regarding snow removal and responsibilities of residents is that once the storm stops, the city allows 24 hours for the sidewalks and paths to be cleared.

After that, the codes enforcement officers begin to check on the conditions and may issue either a warning or citation.