Saturday, February 20, 2010

Arlington County Board Hints at Action on Sidewalk Snow Removal Policy

It ain't easy bein' an Arlington County Board member. Arlington County did a great job of clearing the roads in the wake of February's Snowpocalypse's #2 & #3. So what did the County Board hear about at today's meeting? The sidewalks & trails have been a mess. You just can't win.

I've heard community listservs in neighborhoods like Lyon Park have been buzzing with complaints about icy sidewalks, blocked crosswalks, and pedestrian areas generally being used as storage for snow plowed from roads. In addition to The Green Miles' call for a sidewalk snow removal policy, Steve Offutt and Jess Dillman have pointed out major issues on commuter paths like the Custis Trail.

Clearly, voluntary efforts aren't cutting it. At today's Arlington County Board meeting, two speakers in the public comment session called for an ordinance or law requiring sidewalk snow removal. Longtime Arlington County Democratic Committee leader Carrie Johnson was followed by Arlington Young Democrats President Gordon Simonett:


Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette said the board is listening closely to the community's concerns & talking to county staff about a workable solution. The board plans to talk more about a potential policy at Tuesday's meeting. I hope the board will implement a policy that mandates sidewalk snow removal for residential, commercial & government property and includes penalties for noncompliance (with provisions for residents with health issues).

In the meantime, you can report problems with snow removal at snow@arlingtonva.us, or you can reach the Department of Environmental Services Call Center at 703-228-6570.
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