Good for the downtown business community for keeping their sidewalks clear after another big snow week. No one can blame them; if you are a business owner you want your business to be inviting, and who can afford the $75 fine in this economy for not clearing your snow. Too bad the bylaw officers don’t walk or drive outside of the downtown core and take the same approach to businesses and residences even a few more blocks away.
Where most business owners and their snow removers could do better in this snowy time is considering where they put the snow. By now, anyone who has been downtown will realize it is difficult to get in or out of your car or cross the street with dry feet. Most of the snow removal was pushed into the gutter and forgotten. Now that it has warmed up, that snow, out of the way in the gutter, has become a terrible mess. It is one thing to navigate your way through a snowy or icy sidewalk, but it is nearly impossible to avoid the sloppy mess of piles of melted snow in the gutter.
Some business owners, staff and snow contractors know how to avoid this mess and make neat piles of snow out of the way. When the temperatures rise, like they did this week, the gutters dry up faster and become more bearable for customers.
Downtown businesses for years have been trying to find ways to attract more consumer dollars into downtown. One way is not just to clear your snow, but to manage it, or hire someone who will take the time and care.