Melting Away Sidewalk Access Concerns - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Melting Away Sidewalk Access Concerns

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The slush, the splash and the spray we've all been anxiously awaiting. Monday's warm-up was a messy dose of relief for most of us, but perhaps, few soaked up more of the joy of the melt than the crews plowing our walkways and roadways.
Back in December, we brought you the concerns of some Fargo residents over sidewalk access. Monday, those prayers were answered by the thrilling sound of splashing through puddles. The same sound is putting a pep in Brian Wallace's step as he completes his 12-hour shift clearing streets, parking lots and sidewalks for Fargo SNOW. At quitting time, he still called the day a breeze compared to conditions when winter began.
"Especially, when it's blistering cold and your hands are freezing," Brian added.
A month ago, most crosswalks at busy intersections would have been nearly impassable. But, the melt is helping street crews take care of our walkways much faster.
"When we go through it and it's hard-packed, it still stick to the ground and it's kind of bumpy," Brian said. "It drives me a little nuts and, today, it cleaned up pretty nice and makes it easier for the next round."
That's good news for those with disabilities who rely on the work done by people like Brian, melting away some of their concerns shared with Valley News Live back in December.
"There's a percentage of people out there that their freedom, their independence is being compromised every day those sidewalks stay blocked," Mark Bourdon, Program Director at the Freedom Resource Center, said.
The owner of Fargo SNOW says he was facing speed bumps at the end of the year.
"In December, we were out like 14 or 15 times because we had all those little snows. January was the same," Steve Koep, owner, said. "Everyone was kind of getting run down and it was so cold every time."
Now, that pep in Brian's step helps us all walk a little easier.
"It was great to catch up on paper work. Everyone's morale kind of improved," Steve said.
If you find sidewalks or crosswalks still cluttered with snow in your neighborhood in Fargo or Moorhead, call the city. The city's sidewalk inspector will visit the property, and if nothing is taken care of it could result in a fine of at least $75 in Fargo and $100 in Moorhead.


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