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Tiptoeing around issue of unshoveled sidewalks

   Oh, those slippery sidewalks.

   One disgruntled Buffalo resident lamented Wednesday that even a champion ice skater would have a tough time navigating many snow-clogged sidewalks.

   It's not just a problem in Buffalo. Officials in other localities, including Amherst, say many sidewalks are feeling the brunt of the fierce storms that dumped up to two feet of snow on the region.

   Sidewalk strife is nothing new. Whenever we get socked with a major snowfall, there are complaints about businesses, homeowners and even government entities that fail to clear sidewalks.

   In Buffalo, Mayor Byron W. Brown insisted the city is doing more now than ever before to deal with sidewalk-related woes. He said cleanup crews focus on removing snow from sidewalks around many city-owned properties and bus shelters along many business strips. The mayor also cited a new program that involves the city deploying shoveling crews from AmeriCorps to the homes of senior citizens who are on fixed incomes or residents who are physically impaired.

   The mayor's complaint line  received only about two-dozen calls about icy sidewalks out of more than 5,200 calls it received since Sunday night, city officials said.

   But many residents we spoke with Wednesday said some sidewalks, bus shelters and other areas frequented by pedestrians are in deplorable shape.

   What do you think?

    -- Brian Meyer


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