We’ve been covering sidewalk accessibility this week on TheMinotVoice. Two stories, the City of Minot’s initial failure to timely clean sidewalks in their portfolio, and the follow-up comments from elected officials opened the thread. There’s more coverage to come; we’ve filed a FOIA request with the City with hopes that shining a light inside exposes some accountability.
But snowy sidewalks and accessibility are not exclusively a Minot challenge. In Minneapolis, citizens are equally frustrated by the snow, but it’s not the City they’re blaming, it’s the poor performance of individual property owners. The solution they’re seeking is a City takeover of cleaning all the sidewalks.
It’s a mature discussion; they’ve worked up the proposals, numbers, and logistical approaches, too. Initial findings suggest the cost would impact property taxes by 1.5%-5% and cost each person about $47 annually. The article from the Star Tribune below covers it well. If you care about accessibility or enjoy a winter walk, it’s worth a read. And there’s further coverage of the issue here, from Jennifer Brooks.