We would like to suggest a moment of silence for all the shoes that got ruined by slush yesterday.
We would also like to impose a moment of silence for all the feet in New York City yesterday that got drenched in icy water.
To everyone who battled the slippery, slushy, icy conditions of NYC's sidewalks yesterday, you are warriors, and we salute you.
According to New York Magazine, your cold, wet right foot might be the doing of NYC's policy makers who've once again given right of way to cars over pedestrians.
Obviously, NYC's disabled residents can't hike over snow mountains, nor can they slosh through shin-deep water. So, until the sidewalks are cleaned up, they remain under what's essentially house arrest.
Getting on an NYC bus in a motorized wheelchair? As you could guess, that's difficult in these weather conditions.
"I have to go at full tilt to get up the ramp, and I've been known to skid off to the side and ram into the little guardrail," said pianist Steven Blier, who uses a high-tech motorized wheelchair to get around. "People pay a lot of money at Coney Island for rides like this, I always tell myself."
The burden of clearing the sidewalk falls on property owners, who face small fines if they don't clear them.
The Department of Sanitation offers suggestions for clearing the sidewalk: property owners are told to shovel paths four feet wide, leave catch basins clear, and don't push snow into the crosswalk. But these are suggestions, not hard and fast rules.
Could the Department of Sanitation deploy municipal snowblowers to clear the sidewalks rather than leaving it up to individual businesses? They do that in Montreal.
The sad truth is that the mountain of gray snow you had to climb to get to work isn't just a natural product of snowfall, it's the result of the city's policy.
"As we move towards Vision Zero, we'll have to think about the order of operations to move away from a car-centric perspective," wrote City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal.
Meanwhile, climbing mountains of snow is not the only peril with which NYC's pedestrians must contend: we also have to worry about chunks of falling ice.
Some buildings have taped up yellow caution tape to keep pedestrians from walking under the often sharp, falling pieces. One woman has already fallen victim to a non-life threatening injury while walking along West Broadway, according to Pix11 News.
So, we implore you to keep alert, and check above your head to make sure you're not in the path of falling ice.
As for all the slush and piles of snow? Hopefully, the city will take a page out of Montreal's book and make plowing the sidewalk a municipal responsibility rather than a private one.[via New York Magazine] [Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]