Don't forget pedestrians in snow-removal planning

Snow removal is one of those things that no government can ever do to everyone's satisfaction.

That said, the city is doing the right thing during these warm months in revising and updating plans for plowing streets based on the experience of last winter's dreadful downfalls.

As laudable as that is, it does nothing to help pedestrians, who fared worse than auto drivers during and after the two massive snowstorms that hammered Central Kentucky in February.

"This was a pedestrian disaster," Councilman Jake Gibbs said during the council discussion.

Gibbs, who represents most of downtown, singled out businesses that made no effort to clear piles of snow and ice from their walks. But, as city officials and other council members commented, there was plenty of blame to share.

Even though we have a local ordinance that requires individuals and businesses to clear sidewalks and there are fines for noncompliance, the city did a poor job clearing its own sidewalks, as did Fayette County Public Schools.

This is about more than making it easy to take a stroll in the snow. Many people must, or choose to, walk to work and shopping, to reach bus stops or family and friends in good weather and bad. When sidewalks are impassable, there is no option but the dangerous one of walking in the street.

As the city rethinks snow removal strategies and policy it must include plans to enforce sidewalk clearing — by public and private landowners.