Snow-blocked sidewalks can prove dangerous for pedestrians

 By Matt Blanchette

mblanchette@abc6.com

@mattblanchette

One of the frustrating and lingering effects of the winter storms is trying to walk anywhere.
Piles of snow are blocking sidewalks and making it difficult for pedestrians.
There are neighborhoods where you will find people walking in the streets and that’s because they have no where else to go.

“Almost to the point of your are taking your life into your own hands just to go to the grocery store,” Leonard Hawley said.
If you are a pedestrian or driver in Providence you have probably seen a situation like this a sidewalk blocked by the snow.
In situations like this walkers have two choices: go on — or through the snow,or out into the road,which, of course can be dangerous.
While the city is responsible for many sidewalks, local businesses are required to take care of the space in front of their stores.

Keeping the front of my store clean is most important because we still have people coming up on bikes so we want to make sure they can get to the front door safely and then have a place to put it also,” Leo LaBelle of Dash Bicycle said.
Their sidewalk on broadway is clear, but that’s not the case a few buildings down, which frustrates other surrounding businesses.
“A lot of the owners around here don’t do their job or if they do they come and do half of it or half of it does not get done. A perfect example outside: half of the sidewalk is done and then they leave some and it’s all ice.
So until someone steps up and removes these huge piles of snow from the sidewalks people have no choice but to literally walk out in the middle of the road to get where they are going, in front of traffic. ABC 6 did reach out to Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and the owner of this building, neither of which had a comment.
“Both sides of the street. groceries, carriages, babies we have to walk in the road and sometimes it isn’t good because they yell out the windows,” Hawley said.