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Refresher course winter reaction

With the snow and ice sure to soon be upon us, the timing might be right for a few simple reminders that will go a long way in making the lives easier for city crews responsible for keeping our streets clean and our sidewalk rulings enforced.

The first pertains to parked vehicles on roadways during heavy snowfalls. There is a city ordinance that states vehicles cannot park in any one place on a street or alley for longer than 72 hours.

However, when a heavy snowfall occurs, parking prohibition automatically goes into effect on all primary snow emergency routes where there has been an accumulation of snow and ice of three inches or more for one hour or more between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.

This means vehicles need to be cleared and kept off of streets during this time, so snow cleanup can proceed unimpeded and as quickly as possible.

With the precipitation also comes ice and snow-congested sidewalks.

Removal of the snow and ice on sidewalks is the responsibility of the occupant of the property.

The ordinance states that no snow or ice may be allowed to stand or remain upon any public sidewalk within the city of West Fargo. If any person or corporation either neglects or refuses to clean the sidewalk abutting their property, the city can initiate action to have city crews coordinate the effort and assess the property owner for the work.

Another area of concern are sump hoses across sidewalks, which when they drain causes the water to freeze, making for extremely slippery situations, and accidents waiting to happen for those traveling the sidewalks on foot.

The city ordinance pertaining to sump pumps clearly states they may not be placed on or over a public sidewalk, as they present a distinct hazard for individuals walking on the sidewalks. Property owners may request permission from the city to bury their sump pump hose under the sidewalk as a way of conforming to the ordinance.

When it comes to old man winter and the first big snowfall, a little bit of common sense and consideration for others will go a long way.

Take the time to move your vehicle, and don't wait for the snow to become rock hard on your sidewalk before you bundle up and go clean it off.

Being reactive right away will make the job a whole lot easier for everyone involved when the first big blast of winter does decide to hit.