Officials with the city of Syracuse, N.Y., have announced the city's intention to expand its winter maintenance regimen by adding 20 miles of sidewalks to its regular plowing and snow removal schedule.
The area has traditionally contended with fairly weak snow removal laws, and city officials have long struggled with how to better serve their community.
In an address to the Common Council's public work committee this week, Director of City Operations Corey Driscoll Dunham and Transportation Planner Neil Burke stated, "Each year we as a community talk about what a shame it is that we don't have a plan in place or haven't been able to figure it out. Then summer comes and we all forget about it until the snow begins to fly again. This is an issue of public safety."
Officials used data about pedestrian habits and vehicle traffic to decide which sidewalks to clear. They looked at routes people in neighborhoods walked to get to schools, grocery stores, pharmacies and other important destinations.
Details of the plan are pending; however, Dunham stressed that snow removal is still up to property owners. The city program will simply supplement that. He went on to stress that this will be a pilot program for the city, and that the city will be putting out a request for proposals to seek contractor quotes for the work. The cost of the program will be covered by the Department of Public Works' 2018-19 budget.