We live in a neighborhood where most of our children walk to school, some residents walk or catch the city buses to work. Did you see a young child or adult walking in a road instead of the sidewalk? That is probably because the sidewalks are not clear or the crosswalks/corners that plows have covered have not been cleared for them to safely get across. As homeowners and renters it is our responsibility to clear those walkways.
People who use wheelchairs and other devices are often unable to travel through snow covered walkways.
Keep our school children safe by making the pathway to school easier for them to navigate. It is often families with young children that have the hardest time as they are our tiny residents and may not be able to easily walk through the snow and ice covered sidewalks and crosswalks.
Piles of snow often cause tripping hazards that are difficult to navigate for everyone. This can result in broken bones, fractures, sprains and scrapes/bruising.
You can also help keep bus stops cleared, too. You can be a good neighbor; if you are near a bus stop, you can help keep it clear of snow and debris.
Please keep curb ramps and walkways clear of snow.
If neighbors or businesses are not clearing their sidewalks in a timely matter please take the time to report it to the City Sidewalk Division if it has not been done within 24 hours of the precipitation event.
Per the City of Grand Rapids Website:
Snow Removal Complaints
The City requires that public sidewalks be cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours following the precipitation event by the owner of the adjacent property. Complaints regarding sidewalks that have not been cleared within this timeframe may now be submitted online through the Inspection Services Portal. To do so, go to Online Inspection Services, click on the “Enforcement” tab, then click the “Report a Code Violation” link. Complainants will need the address of the property adjacent to the sidewalk that has not been cleared, and will need to provide a description of the complaint (e.g., ”snow covered sidewalk on west side of street”). Complainants may enter their contact information, but this is not required. Once the complaint has been submitted, it will be assigned a tracking number that can be used to follow the status of the complaint.
Before submitting a complaint, please wait at least 24 hours after the precipitation event to give the property owner time to clear the sidewalk, and to allow the City to focus its inspectors on valid complaints.
THE SIDEWALK DIVISION IS LOCATED AT THE DEVELOPMENT CENTER
1120 MONROE AVE NW, ON THE 3rd FLOOR
HOURS OF OPERATION ARE 7:30AM - 4:00PM MONDAY - FRIDAY
You can also call 311, use the 311 app for your phone or go to their website to report the snow removal issue.
Were you cited for non compliance?
According to the city: If you are cited for non-compliance you are given 48 hours to clear the sidewalk. After 48 hours a re-inspection is conducted; if the sidewalk remains in violation of the City Ordinance your sidewalk will be plowed by a contractor, and you will be responsible for the charges associated with clearing the sidewalk. An administrative fee of $95, plus $25 per quarter hour labor for snow and ice abatement will charged to the property owner.
Fire Hydrants in the Winter
This picture was sent to the West Grand Neighborhood Organization's Facebook page by a GRFD firefighter with a message:
"Please shovel your street's fire hydrant out. Our fire trucks have about two minutes worth of water aboard. We need quick access to a hydrant to stop a fire. You never now when your house might need it."
On the Grand Rapids Fire Department Facebook page they are asking for your help to keep them clear and visible by clearing a 3-foot area around a hydrant in your area, every second counts in a house fire!
Did you know you can Adopt a Hydrant and earn MyGRCity Points for volunteering to do it? You can them redeem the points for special offers from local businesses. You can Adopt A Hydrant and learn more here: Adopt-A-Hydrant Program
Rental properties with more than one household in it makes for needed parking on the street due to multiple vehicles. Even single family properties have multiple vehicles and maybe a small driveway. It is understandable when you have a car and need to park at home, however there is a good reason for Even/Odd parking rules. Safety.
In the winter travel gets more and more difficult for emergency vehicles and residents trying to get to and from work, especially during winters like the one we are currently in where there is a larger amount of snowfall. This is especially the case when residents or visitors do not observe the even/odd parking rules or there is an abandoned vehicle that the plows cannot get the roads cleared because they are in the way. The situation gets more dangerous for both pedestrians, homeowners and drivers when the snow keeps piling up, roads get narrower and sidewalk clearing is ignored. We cannot stress this enough!
A perfect example of when Even/Odd Parking rules were ignored is the photo to the right. This is a safety hazard for homeowners and business owners alike as the Emergency Vehicles trying to respond cannot pass to get to the emergency, people could possibly not get help in a timely manner and in the case of a fire, it could spread to other buildings if not contained quickly. In a worst case scenario, a person or persons could be hurt or killed because of it. There have been multiple instances in the news where this was the case.
For more tips on Winter Preparedness, go to the city website at: https://www.grandrapidsmi.gov/Directory/Programs-and-Initiatives/Winter-Preparedness