Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Sidewalk Laws Respect Safety

Councilman Wayne Waldack recently addressed the issues of blocked sidewalks following a resident’s requesting that this ordinance be changed. The appellant felt that being able to park cars in driveways, blocking sidewalks, would not inconvenience those forced to walk around them and would provide additional parking spaces on the island.

Waldack pointed that sidewalks are for pedestrian traffic and not for the  exclusive use of a property owner.  Intentionally or unintentionally blocking a sidewalk, he said,  might violate various laws (possibly federal, state and local). 

“There is also the issue of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)”, said Waldack. “Many people have a need to walk on solid or level surfaces. There are many people that use our sidewalks with the aid of a cane, some with walkers, some in wheelchairs, even some with braces.”

Councilman Waldack indicated safety issues associated with forcing someone to walk on an uneven surface, “And they might be attributed to a careless homeowner.  I fully support enforcement of sidewalk violations.  It is easier for a responsible driver to park properly and show proper consideration to anyone using the sidewalk system.”

Waldack suggested  those who did not agree might also check with an attorney or insurance company to see if there is a liability issue.

“This is just my opinion,” he said,  “and written as a mere citizen with respect and concern for those with disabilities. Laws that are in place in any community should be equally enforced and should not be for the benefit of one section of the community.”

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