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Snow-covered sidewalks bring challenges

DULUTH,MN-- Most of the roads may have been plowed, but people around Duluth are still digging out.

That includes Clifford Husle, who tackled his sidewalks Thursday.

Hulse says, "Everybody's having a challenge this winter. We got a lot of snowfall, lot of snowfall."

The biggest challenge comes for those with disabilities.

Advocates say people with physical limitations, have more barriers than the average person.

Meredith Kujala with ARC Northland says, "It's a shame that somebody who has some type of disability has to choose whether they have to risk their safety to have a social life or if they should just stay home and isolate. You know that's really not fair. Everything should be accessible."

The city has cleared pathways to the sidewalks but they're often blocked.. by mountains of snow.

That's where curb-cuts come in.

Kujala says, "Which is a huge thing for someone that uses a chair or may use some type of walking device. Curb cuts are crucial and since the ADA passed, it is something that cities need to make sure they are putting out."

Advocates say the city has been working on the problem but it comes up every year.

Meredith "It's still an issue, unfortunately, you know we are four days after the snowstorm and we still have barriers."

Good neighbors like Husle do what they can.

After finishing his sidewalks he'll move onto his disabled neighbor's.

Hulse says, "I just take my snowblower and shovel. Shovel it out and blow it away. We take care of them though, neighbors take care of neighbors."

When the sidewalk is covered it often forces people to walk in the road.

Which advocates say is dangerous for everyone, not just disabilities.

Duluth ordinance says you have 24 hours to clear sidewalks in front of our house.

If you need help shoveling your sidewalks, you can call 2-1-1 for assistance.

For more information on the ordinance, click here.

Emma Quinn

Photojournalist Wyatt Buckner

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