Denver Winter: Inaccessibility - Wall of Shame
SNOW REMOVAL AFFECTS ALL OF US
By Jaime Lewis
In 2006 Denver experienced a snow storm that dumped 16 inches of snow on Christmas Eve. The event made Christmas Eve a Norman Rockwell setting that most enjoyed. Unfortunately, the City of Denver decided that having city workers removing snow on Christmas day would have been “hum bug” so they let the snow sit for another day. A very slow response to snow removal on the third did little to help people get out of their homes to drive or traverse the sidewalks. Denver then experienced a deep freeze for over a week which is not unusual for that time of the year. The snow, that had not been attended to, now become blocks of ice. People had difficulty getting in and around town and those with vehicles were getting serious damage to the undercarriage, mufflers and transmissions.
Though the negligence of the city was obvious, the citizens of Denver also followed the poor example of non-response to the storm by not fulfilling their obligation to clear sidewalks in front of their privately or commercially owned property.
CITY OF DENVER SNOW REMOVAL POLICY
- Homeowners: Once snow has stopped falling, residences have twenty-four (24) hours to remove snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent to their property.
- Businesses: Once snow has stopped falling, businesses have four (4) hours to remove snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent to their property.
On Tuesday , December 15th 2015 the city of Denver received approximately 14 inches of snow. Well, you guessed it, not much has changed in since 2006. I have to admit the removal of snow from major streets and thoroughfares has improved but the removal of snow from sidewalks has not. In 2006, CCDC had made an assertive effort to address the city’s lack of enforcement of their snow removal policies for residential and commercial properties. Without this enforcement, those with mobility issues are stranded in their homes for days.
On December 21st, the sixth day after the December 15th storm, I experienced this.
I was trying to board the north bound 40 on Colorado Blvd. When I approached the bus stop the ice prevented me from getting to the stop. It was obvious that the snow had never been shoveled or removed in the specific time frame that City of Denver Snow Removal Policy states. I immediately went into the Old Chicago Restaurant and asked the manager if he had a shovel and whether he was going to help me meet his obligation concerning their side walk. They agreed. They struggled to break up the ice and I could see their frustration. However, they continued until the job was done. When they were finished I thanked them and also informed them if they had followed the snow removal policy that the snow would not have had a chance to freeze up.
Considering that 2016 is around the corner, nearly 10 years since the 2006 fiasco, CCDC has decided to take a different approach. The fact, that Denver refuses to inforce side walk snow removal policies and does not make it a priority, we will begin posting offenders online. Perhaps, if we tap into the “Shame On You” approach commercial businesses will get the message the disability community is not going to tolerate non-compliance to the City’s snow removal policy.
So, shame on you Old Chicago Restaurant for not shoveling in a timely manner. I can imagine people who attempted to use that bus stop but just gave up and turned around frustrated.
And, shame on you Sports Authority on Broadway. When I called to inquire about snow removal I was told that it was not their job!
So, are you willing to help us? If you know of a property that is in non-compliance send us a picture, date and address of offender. Hopefully this new era of visual news will encourage businesses and owners to do the right thing.
Shame on Cuba Cuba
By Jaime Lewis
Shame on you Cuba Cuba. Restaurant on 1173 Delaware St, Denver, CO 80204. Lack of snow removal 7 days after snow storm.
Shame on Torchy
By Jaime Lewis