Top Twenty Reasons for Municipal Sidewalk Plowing in Buffalo


  1. Because sidewalks, like streets, parks, and schools, are public property. Nowhere else in municipal management is it legal to fine and shame private citizens for failing to maintain public property.
  2. It promotes year-round walkability for all residents, workers, and visitors, thus serving the explicit goals of the new Green Code.
  3. It promotes better air quality. People who can count on consistently cleared sidewalks will leave the car at home more often.
  4. It promotes healthy movement and exercise. People who can count on consistently cleared sidewalks will walk more often to their destinations.
  5. Because there is no such thing as 100% compliance with private shoveling mandates, resulting in patchwork accessibility at best.
  6. Sidewalk plowing can be contracted out to bidders who provide their own equipment, thus avoiding a larger public payroll and higher capital expenditures.
  7. It makes city living more affordable and competitive by reducing the need to support a private automobile.
  8. It addresses the problem of high-vacancy neighborhoods, where there are no owners to fine for not shoveling.
  9. It saves lives of older folks. Every year, Buffalonians suffer heart attacks when they shovel snow. In a region with an increasingly graying population, it is unethical for cities to fine people for avoiding a deadly activity.
  10. It saves lives of pedestrians. People forced to walk in the street risk being injured and killed by drivers.
  11. It enables customers to continue patronizing businesses during storms and driving bans.
  12. It reduces the demand for ever more on- and off-street parking.
  13. It serves the roughly 30% of Buffalo households who do not own automobiles.
  14. It is cheaper per household than hiring neighborhood kids or private contractors to do it
  15. It complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act
  16. It enables children to develop independence instead of having to be chauffeured everywhere by their parents.
  17. It enables senior citizens to retain their independence instead of having to be chauffeured everywhere by their kids.
  18. It enables all who do not or cannot drive to retain their independence.
  19. It complies with the constitutional principles of equal access and equal protection.
  20. It promotes Buffalo as a year-round destination and shows the world that we control snow, it doesn’t control us.

Share and use the hashtag #PlowSidewalksToo

Sign the petition for sidewalk plowing in Buffalo

Edited November 21, 2021. Photograph courtesy of @D_S_F_J_, location unknown

Published by Cynthia Van Ness

Librarian, author, webmaster. BuffaloResearch.com is an on-my-own-time project, reflecting my own views and idiosyncracies.

%d bloggers like this: