For many people, sidewalks are their primary or only mode of travel when accessing goods, services or employment around Huntsville.
When those sidewalks are blocked by bulk waste, parked vehicles or even overgrown vegetation, citizens – especially the elderly and disabled – often have a hard time getting around.
“Those who don’t have the unique experience of traversing the world with a disability surely cannot understand the frustration of not being able to patronize your favorite restaurant because of an ill-placed garbage bag or being late to work because you can’t access the sidewalk ramp due to a distractedly parked car,” said Leslie Walker, community engagement manager at UCP Huntsville.
Keeping sidewalks clear
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of sidewalks as more people go outdoors for recreation and exercise. Sidewalks are also critical for those who can’t drive or are mobility impaired.
That’s why the City of Huntsville is reminding the public to help keep sidewalks clear of garbage, vehicles and debris to maintain safe walkways for all.
“We want to make sure our sidewalks are clear at all times,” said Redonald Scott, manager of sanitation for the City. “We encourage all property owners to be good neighbors and to do their part to maintain their sidewalks so we can have a safe, quality pedestrian network for our citizens.”
Here are a few tips for success:
- Place your household garbage cart at the curb the night before or by 7 a.m. on collection day.
- Park your cart at least 5 feet from the mailbox, utility poles, parked vehicles, flower beds or any obstruction. Carts should also be parked no more than 2 feet from the curb or road with the arrows on the lid pointing toward the street. Note: Trucks will not return to collect carts that are placed out late, blocked, too close to obstructions or contain unauthorized debris.
- Set out residential bulk trash containers and debris piles for pick-up the night before or by 7 a.m. on collection day.
- Place all trash items, including containers and debris piles, behind the curb for collection. Do not place any debris in the road, gutter, on top of storm drains, on sidewalks, or next to utility lines/poles/boxes. Note: Trash containers and debris piles must not be blocked by vehicles, vegetation or other obstructions, exceed 32 gallons, or weigh more than 50 pounds.
- If you see a parked vehicle blocking a sidewalk, contact the Huntsville Police Department at 256-722-7100. The City will leave a notice at the home reminding them to keep the sidewalk clear.
More details on the City’s website.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s more important than ever to do what we can to look out for each other. Making sure our walkways are easily accessible is one small way we can make a big difference in our community.
“In these days, when watching out for ourselves and our neighbors is certainly top of mind, we would encourage everyone to take a look around and think about keeping sidewalks, entryways and ramps clear for those folks who might have challenges slightly different than your own,” Walker said.
Have a sidewalk issue or other non-emergency request? Check out Huntsville Connect, our free service request program that uses SeeClickFix software to help citizens report and track service requests via the web or mobile app. Click here to download.