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Safety concerns: unplowed sidewalks and bus stops

Posted at 11:16 PM, Feb 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-01 23:16:43-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — “I’m not like a real pushover or a scaredy cat but this is terrifying," says Lori Sturgis.

Sturgis's normal commute to work takes her on a walk down Oak Street beyond the outfield at Coca Cola field. Unfortunately, after snowstorms her normal route is compromised with three feet of snow of untouched snow.

“I’ve said to them, it’s no the length of Niagara Falls boulevard but will it take a fatality for something to be done here," Sturgis says.

She's forced to cross a busy intersection without a "walk" signal; the cross walk button is surrounded by the same amount of snow making it difficult to reach.

Both Dhyrall Hurdle and his fiancé Shannon Mallory who live off of West Humboldt Parkway in Buffalo have similar concerns but theirs extend to snow buried bus stops.

“And I don’t think it’s right for people to walk in the street like my fiancé said just to take care of their daily lives, just to take care of their business," Mallory says.

Mallory walks using a cane, as for Hurdle, he's legally blind. Their physical challenges make normal errands a tough task.

The City of Buffalo's snow removal policy is as follows:

• The Buffalo City Code requires residential and business property owners or occupants to keep the sidewalks and gutters adjacent to their property clear, and to remove snow and ice by 9 A.M. the day after a snowstorm. It also requires every property owner or occupant with premises adjacent to a sidewalk with a wheelchair curb cut to remove all snow and ice that has accumulated in the curb cut before 9. A.M the day after a snowstorm.
• Buffalo also requires that anyone granted a building permit to perform work on a commercial building keep the sidewalk or pedestrian walkway next to the building clean and free of snow.
• Buffalo also forbids shoveling, sweeping, or heaping up snow and ice in a way that obstructs public travel. • If it is impracticable to remove the snow without damaging the pavement, the property owner must cover the sidewalk with ashes, sand, or the like.
• Violations are punishable by $52.50 to $150 for a first offense with an additional penalty of $52.50 for subsequent violations. Violators will also be charged the cost of removing the snow or ice. • Building permit holders who do not keep adjacent sidewalks or pedestrian walkways clear may also lose their permits.
• Owners and occupants are also liable for any injuries or damage resulting from failure to keep the sidewalks, gutters, and wheelchair curb cuts clear.
• DPW is responsible for enforcing the code, but much of its enforcement is complaint driven. Therefore it is important that violations be reported through 311.