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Snowy sidewalks: here's when you might see a new snow plan and how you can share your concerns

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Posted at 11:15 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 23:15:03-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — On Wednesday, February 9, the Common Council will hold a special meeting to hear from residents.

If you want to sign up to speak during the meeting, email to have your snow removal concerns heard.

If you cannot make the meeting, fill out this form to make sure your ideas are still heard.

The deadline for form submissions and to sign up to speak is February 9 at 2 P.M.

In a statement, the city said:

The Mayor and Commissioner of Public Works with other City departments will be recommending additions to the City's snow removal plan, with input from the Council and public. These additions will focus on the procedures that DPW will utilize for above average storms. The additions will also consider new technology, equipment, volunteer opportunities, policy and personnel. The complete plan update will be presented to the Common Council and community as part of the upcoming City budget process. This cutting-edge plan will address resident concerns in a way that improves service delivery and is affordable.

Buffalo Common Council member Joe Golombek said snowy sidewalks a week after a snowstorm are not ideal.

“If you’re handicapped and trying to use a bus, this would be very difficult,” Golombek said.

Buffalo residents must shovel sidewalks and bus stops if they own property next to them. This is not the case in Rochester or Syracuse, where the city helps out.

In Rochester, property owners share responsibility but the city will help if it snows more than four inches. And Golombek said this year's frustration in buffalo is fueling a change.

“In typical buffalo fashion, myself and a group of people said let’s make something positive out of this,” Golombek said.

Golombek said ideally, contractors would charge the city for the amount of snow they shovel.

And Kevin Heffernan from GObike Buffalo said they are advocating for this change for everyone.

“Our idea of complete streets is they should be built for everyone,” Heffernan said. “Not just cars first.”

And Heffernan said anyone can take action to make a change by calling their council member

“Your calls and emails go into a database, and they [council members] can see ‘wow, we got a lot of calls about that last year,’” Heffernan said. “It’s going to be baby steps forward, but it’s going to be a path that helps the most vulnerable first.”

Golombek said he hopes this plan will be added to the budget in May and implemented next winter.