There was once a time when an unshoveled sidewalk stood out like a sore thumb.
Unfortunately, times have changed, and a shoveled sidewalk is no longer the norm.
Recent snowfalls have shown that many area property owners aren't following their responsibility to clean ice and snow from sidewalks, walkways and steps.
Most local communities have laws on the books that require sidewalks be cleared during the winter months. These laws also are vague as to how soon the ice and snow must be shoveled after a storm passes. Violators face a fine if cited.
Letter carriers and paper delivery persons in urban areas still rely upon a clean sidewalk, not to mention children walking to school or the bus stop.
People who do rely on walking to a store or visiting a neighbor are many times forced to walk in the street. Walking in the street is dangerous, especially at night when visibility is limited.
The snow-packed sidewalks are more prevalent in downtown Steubenville. Owners of vacant storefronts apparently don't care about their responsibility, not to mention the liability, of getting rid of ice and snow.
Mother Nature will eventually take care of the ice and snow with warmer weather and sunny skies.
There also was a time when kids would go door to door armed with shovels looking to make a couple bucks for cleaning a sidewalk. Also, a neighbor would shovel the sidewalk of the elderly woman living next door.
Shoveling snow from a sidewalk is a common courtesy to everyone who passes by your house or business. While it can be a physically tough job, it isn't much easier for the person having to cautiously walk through the snow and ice.
There is a trend with property owners not cleaning their sidewalks of snow and ice. These same property owners also let weeds and grass grow high during the summer months.
It is difficult for municipalities to enforce local laws on cleaning snow and ice from sidewalks.
It is a responsibility of every property owner to make sure sidewalks are cleared in a timely manner of ice and snow.