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Clear the Sidewalks, Danbury Urges Residents

City ordinances give resident four hours after a storm ends to clear their sidewalks. Danbury gave people until Wednesday, because Charlotte dumped so much snow.

Francis Lollie is Danbury's sidewalk guy. Complaints? He hears them. Cracked sidewalks? He drives out and looks. He snapped a photo of the unshoveled sidewalk on Main Street in front of St. Joseph's Church on Monday.

"Looks like I need to make a phone call," said Lollie, assistant construction manager for Danbury. Lollie is sometimes called the Sidewalk Superintendent. The sidewalk in front of St. Joe's was clear by Tuesday, but Danbury is starting to crack down on people who haven't cleared their sidewalks yet. "Given the amount of snow, we try to be lenient."

"They really started on Saturday, and they'll make a visit or two," said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. "If it becomes clear nobody's clearing the sidewalk, we'll send them a citation."

Danbury sent out 400 violation notices two years ago, and Charlotte kicked sidewalk clearing into focus this year, said Thomas Hughes, Superintendent of Construction Services. A citation is a $100 charge per day for non-compliance.

Lollie and Boughton said Wednesday the city will start mailing citations. Lollie has checked most of Danbury's main roads and he's moving farther into the neighborhoods.

"I don't want to make this about the 20 percent of people who won't clear their sidewalks," Boughton said. "Eighty percent did it."

Boughton said it's all about liability. A homeowner is liable if someone falls on their sidewalk. Worse than that, a homeowner who didn't clear a sidewalk forces people to step into the road to walk, and that homeowner becomes liable for any accident caused by forcing those pedestrians into the street.

"It will circle right back to their responsibility," Boughton said.

Mark Langlois February 13, 2013 at 01:59 PM
I think some people can't clear their walk because they're elderly, fixed income and they can't afford to hire someone.
Isabel February 13, 2013 at 05:05 PM
One of these sidwalks is the route many young children have to walk to get to Broadview that don't ride the bus. This road is extremely busy in the morning with commuters rushing to get to work. These areas should have been cleaned prior to school even opening. They have to walk on the street, watching their step not only for ice but for the cars as well.
Mark Langlois February 13, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Hi Isabel, in another direction it leads to Ellsworth Avenue School, and anyone who drives Osborne Street or Hospital Avenue knows some of those children walk on Hospital Avenue.

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