I can't believe I'm actually writing this post.
It seems like some residents are being BONEHEADS when it comes to snow removal, specially when it comes to removing snow from the sidewalks and around fire hydrants.
Now before I start, let me just state that it's ABSOLUTELY INSANE for people not to clean the snow from their sidewalks and fire hydrants...ABSOLUTELY INSANE. I mean really, do you need someone to tell you the importance of removing snow around a freaking FIRE HYDRANT or removing snow from a sidewalk? Have we become so lazy of a society that people won't do the right thing until they are told by an authority?
Although you would think that cleaning around a fire hydrant would be common sense, throughout the city there are instances where this is not the case and hydrants and sidewalks are STILL covered with snow. This brings up an interesting set of questions:
1. Is there a city ordinance that outlines a property owner's responsibility when it comes to the snow removal around fire hydrants and/or sidewalks?
2. How much snow needs to be removed around a fire hydrant in order to be in compliance with city regulations (if there is a regulation in the first place)?
3. Which city department is responsible for enforcing snow removal responsibilities? City Works? Fire Department? U.N.I.T.?
4. Is there a penalty for not properly removing snow from the sidewalk and/or around a fire hydrant?
Although this seems silly to even be writing about this topic, as you can see in the above images (which were taken around the Balmforth-Osborne Street area), the lack of proper snow removal in the city is a rather serious problem...and I don't think I need to explain how the public's irresponsible attitude to this subject is placing the city's overall public safety at risk...
I'll update this post once I get some answers...
NOTE: If you see a fire hydrant and/or sidewalk that's not cleaned, snap a photo and send it to me (along with the location) at firstname.lastname@example.org (or @hatcityblog via Twitter) with the location and I'll document it by adding the image to this post.
The faster the problem is caught, the faster the problem can be addressed.
UPDATE: WHOA!!!!! I didn't expect the flood of emails I received on this topic. I guess I wasn't the only person concerned about the hydrant problem.
Send your photos (and location of the problem) to me at @hatcityblog via Twitter and I'll add it to the post!
UPDATE 6:00 PM: Danbury Fire Department responds (via NewsTimes Twitter feed):
Danbury firefighters have been digging out fire hydrants for a good part of the day, they said. There are about 1,800 of them in the city.
Since there's a 99.999999999 percent chance the Danbury Fire Department is reading this post, send your photos of buried fire hydrants to @hatcityblog on Twitter, or email me at email@example.com and I'll post the images to this write-up. Remember, the faster you point out the problem, the faster the city can fix the problem.
UPDATE 7:30 AM: OMG! OMG! OMG!!!!!
I received a number of messages on Twitter about Carol Kaliff at the News-Times beat me to the punch.
This is SO embarrassing...this is the fire hydrant in front of City Hall on Friday.
Now this is unacceptable plain and simple. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that the driveway and sidewalk in front of City Hall was cleared after the storm so why wasn't the hydrant?
We're talking about City Hall!
Here's what the mayor had to say about cleaning sidewalks and hydrants (via News-Times).
Mayor Mark Boughton said if a fire hydrant is on a resident's property, the resident has the responsibility of clearing snow around it.
Given the unacceptable situation at City Hall (and the fact that the building was open on Thursday), maybe the mayor should think about leading by example.
Conveniently, the hydrant was later cleared that same day.
Now it's unfortunate that the Fire Department is getting stuck with this gross incompetence since residents should be out there doing the right thing in the first place (or in the case of City Hall, whoever cleaned the property). With another storm coming thins weekend and next week, hopefully this post can serve as a wake-up call before someone gets hurt!
If you live near a fire hydrant, PLEASE do the right thing and take the time to clean around it...the same goes for sidewalks.
...I'm still at a loss that I'm actually writing about this subject.
Keep sending me your photos of any dangers in the city. Send your pics of uncleared sidewalks and fire hydrants, as well as the location of the danger, to @hatcityblog (via Twitter) or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The faster we can point out the danger, the faster the problem will be fixed.
Beaver Brook Road (note how the business worked around the hydrant when they cleaned the sidewalk):
Town Hill Ave:
Town Hill Ave: