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'Walk in My Shoes' in Dangerous Conditions, Resident Tells Mayor

Morristown woman says lack of snow removal a major concern and potentially dangerous for pedestrians.

Photo Credit: Kendra Arnold.
Photo Credit: Kendra Arnold.

Editor's note: The following Letter to the Editor was written by a Morristown resident and is directed specifically toward Mayor Tim Dougherty. 

Mayor Dougherty,

I would like to invite you to take a walk today ... a walk in my shoes ... as a resident and train commuter of Morristown.

But first, let me introduce myself to you before I explain why I want you to take a walk today. 

My name is Joy and my boyfriend, Steve, and I have lived in Morristown now for two years. We love it. We chose Morristown because of its great location, public transportation, easy access to major highways and the sense of community. We are fortunate enough to be able to walk or bike just about everywhere in town: the train station, restaurants, the farmers market – or nowhere in particular just because it's a beautiful day. We’ve even joined local groups to help give back to the community we’ve come to love so much. One of those groups is Bike and Walk Morristown, which promotes safe biking and walking in the area.

Which leads me to why I am writing you. I live on Ridgedale Avenue and walk down Lafayette Avenue every morning to get to the train station. It's normally a very safe and pleasant 10-minute walk for me. That is, until this winter. 

There are two large sections of the sidewalks on both sides of Lafayette that haven't yet been cleared of snow this winter. After the first few storms, the snow was inconvenient, but the sidewalks remained usable. I reported the issue to the town each time, but nothing was done to resolve the situation. We then got that large storm that dumped more than a foot of snow, but still the sidewalks have not been cleared. They are now totally unusable, forcing residents such as myself to walk in the street.  With black ice and cars speeding by, it's a dangerous situation and an accident waiting to happen.

So, Mayor Dougherty, I ask you to take a few minutes today to walk in my shoes. From the train station, walk up to Ridgedale, cross the street and come back down Lafayette. That's all. Judge for yourself the condition of the sidewalks for commuters and residents like me who rely on that area to get to work and enjoy the town.

Joy Renee Selnick
Member, Bike and Walk Morristown

Jim Bean February 21, 2014 at 06:30 PM
Are those sidewalks on town property ? Because they sure are quick to fine me if i don't clear my sidewalks within 8 hours !!!!!! Who fines the town ???
Virginia Faulkner February 21, 2014 at 08:59 PM
The Abbett Avenue residents clean their sidewalks. For a safer route, go down Ridgedale to Abbett and up through the Staples parking lot.
Sir February 22, 2014 at 08:00 AM
We are so reliant for government to do everything for us.
pro-motown February 22, 2014 at 10:32 AM
The property owner, the house at the top of the hill, is responsible for the shoveling of the sidewalk. I believe the town went in a did it, and the property owner should be billed for the cost of this snow removal by the town. Taxpayers should not pay for a negligent home owner. By the way, this same property is neglected in the warm weather months, also, with weeds overtaking the sidewalk.
Joy Selnick February 22, 2014 at 04:16 PM
Hello everyone-- The sidewalk on Lafayette was cleared by the town shortly after my letter ran. I was told that the property owner refuses to maintain his part of the sidewalk. He has been issued summonses and the town has pursued it in a legal forum. It seems to be an ongoing battle. I also did change my route to the train station temporarily because of the conditions of the street and sidewalk. However, it's an issue of the town and property owners maintaining the roads and sidewalks making it easier and safer for people to get around town. I also did meet with the mayor and, although we didn't go for a walk, we did talk about several issues such as sidewalks, enforcing the snow removal ordinances, and better communication between residents with problems and the town (such as fixing the "report it" link on their site).


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