Shovel your walks! A student’s safety may be at stake! 

Sidewalks in the neighborhood around EHS are icy and snow packed.

Jaydin Webb, Editor-in-chief

Sophomore Archer Husbands is up at 6:30 each school day, gets ready and heads out the door to school by 7:30. The school day starts at 8:15. Husbands walks seven blocks to school. It’s not a long trek, except on snowy days, “It’s a pain. It slows you down a lot. Normally it takes 10 minutes to walk, but on days like this it takes 20 minutes.” 


Slowing him down? The ice and snow left on sidewalks in front of homes in Englewood, “It is dangerous, honestly, for people trying to get here. A lot of small kids go this route. It is hard to walk. Especially because when the snow isn’t cleared, it gets really slick,” said Husbands.  


Husbands says the danger is in the unseen, “The snow buries slick patches you can’t see.” 


He would like to see the city make more of an effort in enforcement around Englewood High School, “Make sure we enforce the laws surrounding the sidewalks. If people are actually getting warned, fined and followed up on, that would be great. Especially around the school area where there are so many kids,” said Husbands.  


Some students were stunned to learn, those residents who haven’t shoveled their walks are following the rules. 


The Pirateer staff asked the city to explain the rules for sidewalk clearing in and around the school neighborhoods. Dave Lewis is with Englewood city code enforcement.  “Englewood Municipal Ordinance requires residents and businesses to remove snow and ice within 24 hours of the last snowstorm.”


That means if the storm ends at midnight, residents have until midnight the next night to get it cleared. So snow can stay on the walks through the morning commute and not be out of compliance. Lewis says the rule used to be 12 hours, but the citizen appointed Code Enforcement Advisory Committee (CEAC) requested the ordinance change and it was approved by City Council. 


Residents who don’t shovel in a timely manner could get a warning. If you get more than one warning between October and May, you could be fined. That could cost you $50 to $250-dollars. 


Lewis says he understands students and other vulnerable populations need to get around, so while the 24-hour rule exists, residents who live around schools should be good neighbors, “Although ordinance stipulates 24 hours for snow removal, residents and businesses should be cognizant that a considerable population transverses our city by foot on a daily basis including our school-age children. As a community, we need to work together to make Englewood work. Enforcement of City Ordinances is one tool towards compliance but partnering with your neighbors is the easiest and best way to ensure the health and safety of our community. Communication with each other is the key to maintaining our hometown identity that so many of Englewood’s citizens desire,” said Lewis. 


Sophomore Elowyn Fahnestock fell on the walks Tuesday, “I was going down a hill, and I skidded. There was a patch of ice under the snow. I slipped down and fell. There wasn’t a single patch of sidewalk that wasn’t iced up. I slid a lot. I didn’t get hurt, but it wasn’t fun. I was extra cold because the left side of me is wet.” 


Junior Meilani Reyes-Curry walks five blocks to school, “It’s hard to walk when there is snow because my shoes get wet and then my feet are cold.”  


She says that is no way to start a day of learning. 


The City has issued 165 snow violations since October 2019 for this season. Code Enforcement works to inspect major arteries first and will now add areas adjacent to schools as priorities for enforcement.