Over the last couple years, I’ve noticed an increased interest by city authorities in improving pedestrian and cyclist safety in Portland. A lot of money has been spent, with questionable results, but at least the attempt is being made.

What bothers me enough to write is that this concern doesn’t seem to extend to winters. As soon as the snow falls, pedestrians end up spending a disconcerting amount of time forced into the street, walking next to uncleared sidewalks and snowbanks.

City officials will probably tell me that much of this is the responsibility of business owners and residents, who are supposed to clear their sections of the sidewalk. The city isn’t immune from criticism, however, as there are plenty of sections it is responsible for that still aren’t cleared as well.

They may also say that there are areas that the state or federal governments are responsible for. I had such a conversation a few years ago in Norway when I noticed that my grandfather’s road hadn’t been plowed in weeks.

The town said it was the state’s road. The state said it was the town’s. I told them that I didn’t care as long as they could figure it out and have someone do it.

If this is the case in Portland, it would be nice if someone figured it out. Maybe spend a few of the dollars the city is receiving to change traffic patterns and sidewalks and clear those sidewalks so we can actually use them.

I don’t care who does it, as long as someone does it.

Eric S. Taylor