Letters to the editor

Against Winter Sweeping

I don't often take a bus, but several years ago had to do so. I barely had time to sit down, when the driver abruptly started, then slammed on his brakes, allowing a breathless latecomer to board. The driver yelled at him, "If it weren't for you people, I might be on time!" I laughed and said to my companion, "It's just like it was in nursing. If it weren't for the patients we could get our work done. I always thought it was a joke!"
I thought of these things when I read that Bellevue residents are going to have to continue moving their cars from one side of the street to the other even during winter months. The reason given had something to do with facilitating the work of the Public Works Department. That department usually does an exemplary job, but I have some concerns about the proposed ordinance.
Will the routine street cleaning actually take place? In the past, we have been required to move cars, and were ticketed for not doing so, even when the street sweeping machine was broken. Furthermore, there have been many days when the machine was ostensibly working-and we scrambled to move our autos-and the sweeper missed our street. If I-an almost 80 year old lady who uses a cane-have to park two blocks away and then hobble back to my home in the rain, snow, and dark of night, will a clean sweep the next day actually happen?
Is the proposed routine really necessary? Under the present system, most leaves have been swept up by the end of November, and, although some folks continue to discard trash in the streets, I have not seen that to be a huge problem.
Snow removal was mentioned in The Citizen as an issue-and remembering last winter's mountain of white-stuff, that is a major concern for residents. How many spaces must each of us shovel out-only to have the plow push the snow back in? If I have to clear an area that is a block away and across the street, where do I put the snow? Do I have to carry it, bucket-by-bucket, back to my own property? How will plowing take place when many cars will be trapped at the curb?
I have reason to believe that the borough will not be lenient about tickets during bad weather conditions.
No matter what the task, negative effects have to be balanced against positive effects in order to make a reasoned decision. Has the downside for borough residents-not the works department-been weighed against potential benefits? Personally, I see a lot of problems for Bellevue citizens who are unlucky enough to have to park in the street. We tend to be an older population replete with all of the maladies of aging. It's one thing to move cars in the good weather and quite different when weather is bad.
Furthermore, consider the fact that we obligatory street-parkers tend to be home owners. I would wager that, most often, owners do not live in the buildings they also rent. As Bellevue is increasingly in danger of becoming a place where there are only renters and absentee landlords, homeowners-the backbone of the borough-should be given reasons for staying here. When the tipping point comes and most of Bellevue is owned by landlords who do not reside here, you will have a far less livable community.
I hope that the ordinance forcing us to move our cars even during the winter might be reconsidered.
Evelyn Bold
Thelma Fuller and Ginger Reiser

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