ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - As complaints over snow-packed sidewalks and intersections in St. Paul pile up, for many residents it doesn't seem like enough is being done to make sure the simple task of walking from Point A to Point B can happen safely.
More than 70 businesses have been sent warning letters from the city to shovel their properties since last weekend's snowfall, with owners facing a fine if they don't clear the ground within 48 hours. That hasn't stopped snow from piling up in spots, however, making life difficult for people like Dave Sullivan-Nightengale.
When the disabled veteran got off a bus at the intersection of 6th Street and Cedar Street in downtown St. Paul Tuesday, he was already facing a long walk to the job fair he was on his way to at the time. With snow blocking intersections and making sidewalks treacherous, the trip became downright dangerous.
“I felt trapped to be honest," he said. "When I got off the bus I wanted to get right back on and find a different spot, because there’s just no way out for someone like me who sees a pile of snow.”
Sullivan-Nightengale is partially paralyzed and uses a walker, which he had to drag across several snowbanks as he walked along the sidewalk in St. Paul. He made it to his job fair and home again without a major incident, but he still says the situation is unacceptable.
“There are no excuses for having this mess here 3 days after the snowfall event,” he said.
The city says some sidewalks in the area are heated and are always clear of snow, but without major investment the only way to ensure safe travels for everyone is to rely on cooperation from homeowners and businesses in clearing sidewalks.