Icy sidewalks pose danger after winter weather

ASHWAUBENON, Wis.-- -
If your sidewalks are covered in ice and snow, it's time to start clearing them.
 
"Literally every minute that we don't clear our sidewalks, somebody either can't walk or they have to make a choice to walk in the street," said Peter Flucke, owner of WE BIKE, etc. 
 
Flucke is a former officer who now educates people on pedestrian and bicycle safety through WE BIKE.
 
When talking about snow-covered sidewalks, he mentioned John Kennedy of Green Bay. Kennedy was going down Velp Avenue in his wheelchair in 2011 when he died in a hit-and-run accident.
 
"Because the sidewalk wasn't cleared, he was in the roadway and he was struck and killed by a passing vehicle, and that's just not acceptable," said Flucke.
 
Kennedy's family pushed for change, and now Green Bay has stricter snow removal policies, enforcing people clearing sidewalks within 24 hours of a storm.
 
If you don't, you could face a fine. It's the same for many other municipalities, including Ashwaubenon.
 
"If we visited once or twice and said something and it's not done, now we come back through and clear it, and would go the route of charging for that," said Doug Martin, Ashwaubenon Public Works Director.
 
Public Works Departments aren't always looking for those problem sidewalks, though.
 
"Many of the municipalities only clear the sidewalks when somebody complains," said Flucke.
 
But in Ashwaubenon, Martin said the department tries to make it a priority.
 
"It's one of those modes of transportation, just like any other, that we need to keep open and safe for everybody," Martin explained.
 
Safe, because keeping your sidewalk clear could actually make the difference between life and death during the winter months.
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