Saturday, March 6, 2010

Will New Hampshire Case Clear More Sidewalks?

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based on a news article in the Concord Monitor

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has recently sided with a Bill Tinker, who needs a scooter/ wheelchair to get around town. He has been battling the town of Tilton for many years.

Originally, he convinced Tilton to install a sidewalk parallel to state route 3. But the pathway was not kept clear in winter. Tinker says that he wanted it cleared for all pedestrians, not just himself. The town says this will cost nearly $20,000 a year. Part of the walkway is on a highway overpass, and snow cannot just be pushed to the sides.

The town argued that by officially declaring the sidewalk closed from December to April that no one could use it. They were, therefore, not required to keep it clear just for Tinker. Tinker's lawyer argued that because there was a curb separating the road from the walkway that without clearing Tinker and others were forced onto the road, creating an unsafe situation.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that Tilton must clear the walk. Although this case occurred in New Hampshire, it is interesting in light of a lively discussion on the greatlakeshikes newsgroup this week.

The Linear Parkway in Battle Creek is not being plowed. Some people believe that it should be cleared for walkers and the handicapped. Others note that it is a trail, and think the snow cover should be left for skiers. What do you think?
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