Are your sidewalks icy?
How much quality time have you spent with your sidewalks lately? If you’re like most people in my neighborhood, the answer is not much.
I walked Molly, the pup, for a mile today before dawn and managed to do so without falling. That’s only because I had cleats strapped onto my shoes. (I bought them at Farm & Fleet a few years ago). My heels slipped numerous times, but, each time, the cleats on the fronts of my shoes caught me before I fell.
Temperatures near freezing overnight left most walkways icy after all that rain Sunday. I walked with the cleats Sunday morning, too. I saw another neighbor walking her dog, as well, and she also appeared to have cleats. I saw one guy in the neighborhood putting salt or sand on his sidewalk and another doing so on his driveway. Otherwise, most sidewalks were dicey.
I heard that a retired colleague fell and broke his leg recently. I also heard, on the TV news, that dozens of people in Madison were treated for injuries from falls after Thursday’s icy/snowy mix. We avoided most of the freezing rain here, but that slush left on our sidewalks and streets turned to ice once snow covered it. Before yesterday’s rain, those lumps of slush had turned to miniature glaciers. Now, puddles have frozen on many or most walkways.
I heard the Sunday forecast, and on Saturday I stopped with a shovel and five-gallon pail at the pile of free sand next to the city bus garage at the northeast corner of Parker and Memorial drives (access is off Parker, north of Memorial). The pile was snow-covered, but around back I found where others had dug some out. I put my pail full in the basement to thaw. On Sunday, I twice used a shovel to reduce the size of puddles on our sidewalks and clear a better path to storm sewers. This morning, I spread sand on my sidewalks before walking.
Why not do the schoolchildren, mail carriers, dog walkers, the elderly who walk to run errands and all of your neighbors a favor and make sure you apply sand or salt to your sidewalks? It might prevent someone from being injured—and suing you.
Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow him on Twitter or