Snow-covered sidewalks create safety concern for Providence residents

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Michael Ralph walks his 7-year-old son to school each morning.

“To get him to school in this kind of weather is ridiculous,” he told Call 12 for Action.

Ralph said he and his son have been forced to make the half-mile walk in the street because parts of the sidewalk along Douglas Avenue in Providence remain covered in snow.

“Thursday was the snowstorm,” Ralph said. “Here we are on Tuesday, and nothing is done. Nothing has changed. People are still walking in the road, and cars are still flying by.”

According to Victor Morente, a spokesperson for Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, the city has received 60 complaints about snow-covered sidewalks since Thursday’s storm.

Each complaint was checked by an inspector and 21 citations, ranging from $50 to $250, have been issued.

“Inspectors are still responding to complaints,” Morente added in an email.

“It’s not enough!” Ralph said. “It’s a danger to public safety, honestly.”

Property owners in Providence are required to remove snow and ice from sidewalks within the first eight hours of daylight after the end of any snowfall, according to a city ordinance.

Property owners are also required to remove snow and ice from any fire hydrants and catch basin bordering the sidewalk of their property.

Providence residents are encouraged to report areas that need attention online or by calling 311.

Susan Campbell (scampbell@wpri.com) is the Call 12 for Action and Target 12 consumer investigator for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.