One day last week I went to town to run a few errands. Returning home an hour or so later, I felt lucky to have survived the trip without personal injury.
Our weather has been atrocious lately: a little snow, but more in the way of wind, rain, hail, and sleet.
Conditions have made for a lot of ice, both on the roadways and walking areas. At home here, we're able to keep critical areas shoveled, salted and sanded . . . for the most part anyway. But what the heck has happened around public places in town? When did we lose any sense of personal responsibility for keeping sidewalks, walkways, and entrances clear of snow and ice?
There was recently an article in our local paper explaining what areas of town proper the county is responsible for and what areas the city is responsible for. There is apparently a lack in both departments of enough personnel and financial wherewithal to keep all areas free of snow and ice.
Okay, but don't business owners feel any responsibility to get out and shovel the sidewalks or entrances to their places of business anymore? Is it cheaper to buy liability insurance (in case of customer injury) rather than taking the time to clean away the ice and snow?
Although I'm in the second half century of my life, I'm still in darned good shape. (Well, physically anyway.) I'm not particularly afraid of taking a spill on the ice. My thick German bones seem to bend and bounce without any trouble. But, my gosh, anyone who was a little unsure on their feet or frail or prone to get hurt if they fell wouldn't have been able to navigate in and out of nearly any of the places I went on my town errands.
Lumps and chunks and ruts and ridges of snow and ice on sidewalks, nearly smack up to the doors of places of business. I mean the situation was truly unbelievable. It used to be that the first thing a business owner did before opening in the morning of a winter's day was to go out and shovel, sand and salt the approach to his place of business.
The entry to one public place I went in looked like it had had a very heavy build-up of ice on the sidewalk in front. (Well, I know it must have because there's always been a steady dripping from the roof of the entryway right smack on the sidewalk whenever the temperature is warm enough for melting.) The whole sidewalk area looked like someone had come out with a shovel or ice-breaker-upper thingie and chopped the thick ice into chunks so it wasn't glare ice anymore. AND THEN LEFT ALL THE BROKEN UP ICE CHUNKS LYING THERE! They subsequently refroze and don'tcha think that made for interesting navigating!
I'm sorry, I just don't get it. When did we lose the personal responsibility? We have advanced so far technologically, but common sense and person responsibility are disappearing faster than the speed of sound.
I find that downright disturbing.
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