To the editor:
Since we moved to Newburyport’s Ward 5 in 1997, I have written letters to The Daily News, complained to the city and two local businesses about a snow shoveling problem that occurs on Low Street. Whenever there is a substantial snowstorm, the city plows pile up snow on the sidewalks that extend from the middle school to the Shaw’s entrance at Market Square.
Low Street property owners who might have been able to shovel off four to five inches of new snow that fell on their sidewalks end up having to shovel three of four times that amount after the city plows pile the street now up on their sidewalks, which are right up against the street. As the years pass, more and more homeowners and two small local businesses have given up trying.
Children who walk to the middle school after a significant snowstorm often have to walk in the street because of the high amount of snow piled up on these sidewalks. I have recently seen residents of Horton Terrace walking in the street on their way to the supermarkets.
The city has done nothing about this, and no one gets a ticket for not shoveling. Tickets would just add insult to injury.
The mayor does not care about this; it’s not a downtown matter. The sidewalks in the other direction, from the middle school down to the downtown area are pretty well maintained.
The proposal for a new Youth Services building across the street from the middle school should not be approved unless the dumping of the snow on the sidewalks of Low Street ceases, or the city begins to take responsibility for the snow that its plows dump on them.
I urge the city councilors from Wards 3 and 5, and any with an open mind, to oppose the Youth Services project for safety reasons. There are no sidewalks on the side of Low Street where the National Guard building is located. But there will be area children who would be walking to the proposed facility.
The police have worked for many years to get parents to stop parking on the side of Low Street in front of the school, and from making illegal u-turns there. Their hard work should not be undone. The proposed facility will be right across the street from the school’s bus exit.