By Gordon Richins
Snow removal is an issue that our community deals with every winter. Individuals with and without disabilities find it extremely difficult and dangerous to use the sidewalks in our communities. As a person with a physical disability and user of an electric wheelchair, this subject is one I understand very well. Individuals can get stuck and unable to move. This has happened to me several times. I end up getting very cold before I can get pushed out by a helpful individual.
Another serious hazard is being forced out into the street to access the bus or area businesses, which is very dangerous. Fortunately I have not been hit yet.
This blog entry is an effort to provide the community with a process to address snow removal issues. It will also allow the community to be involved directly with a variety of solutions.
An example would be community collaboration in developing the use of volunteer organizations or other community groups into action teams that may agree to remove snow for a given area, in a timely manner. This could be done similar to the trash removal that takes place along our highways, with recognition going to the group or individual responsible for the area. The work would include clearing the snow banks in areas to allow public access from the sidewalk to the street, including bus stops.
These groups could also be paid with support from the community. For example, businesses, individuals, friends and family may donate money to a group for their efforts in removing snow. This could be a win-win opportunity for our youth and anyone needing some exercise.
Another idea would be hanging a snow shovel in the shelters at bus stops or at nearby businesses that individuals could use to clear the walkway near the bus stops. I use the bus regularly and often times see individuals sitting or standing, waiting for the bus. Anyone who chose to could remove snow for the few minutes they are waiting. I know when I was out in the weather working I was always warmer when I was moving than when I was just sitting.
I received the following information from, Cheryl Atwood the Executive Director of OPTIONS for Independence, Northern Utah’s Center for Independent Living. This general information is to help individuals with disabilities understand the process used in Logan City in regards to snow removal at the Cache Valley Transit District (CVDT) bus stops.
CVDT wants you to be aware that they try very hard to keep snow removed from bus stops, but, when a big storm hits it can be very difficult to get to all the stops and it may take a few days. It is actually the property owners’ responsibility to remove snow from sidewalks on their property as well as to keep the bus stops clear. However, CVTD has no way to enforce this.
It might also be helpful to contact the property owners at stops that you use and let them know how having a clear bus stop impacts you. If the stop is in front of a business that you frequent, let them know how much you would appreciate having increased and safe access to that business. Contact Logan City or the city where the stop is located with concerns regarding the enforcement of clear sidewalk ordinances.
CVTD has developed a priority list for snow removal that includes 25 bus stops with the greatest demand. They will do their best to get the stops cleared. (This list is from CVTD General Manager Todd Beutler.):
1. Spring Hollow
3. Innovation Campus
4. Lee’s Marketplace
5. Cache Valley Mall
6. Wal-Mart North (inbound/outbound)
7. Specialty Hospital
8. Deseret Industries
9. Cache High
11. Adams Park (inbound/outbound)
12. Senior Center
13. Post Office (inbound/outbound)
14. Rec Center (inbound/outbound)
16. South Campus
17. 300 W. Riverbend Road
18. Human Services
19. Wal-Mart South (inbound/outbound)
20. Fast Forward
22. Mt. Logan Middle School (inbound/outbound)
23. Vet Science/Education Bldg
24. Industrial Science/Richards Hall
25. Aggie Village
If you have questions or concerns, please call Lisa Peterson (CVTD) at (435) 713-6971, or contact the city office where the bus stop is located.