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Denver residents begin clearing sidewalks after first snowstorm of the season

Volunteers step up to clear snow and ice from bus stop sidewalks
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Posted at 5:40 PM, Oct 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-29 19:50:03-04

DENVER — As soon as the snow stopped falling on Sunday, the clock began ticking for property owners in Denver and many communities to remove the snow from their sidewalks.

Denver resident Ryan Monahan wasted no time getting to work, shoveling snow from the sidewalks of his home.

“I just wanted to help make sure that my wife and I can walk through here pretty easily,” said Monahan.

By the looks of it, many of his neighbors had the same idea.

“We've got a great little street here. People are pretty active. They tend to get their stuff done fairly early,” said Monahan.

It's not only the smart thing to do but also the law in many cities.

In Denver, for instance, property owners have 24 hours after snow stops falling to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks.

Business owners in Denver have four hours.

They must also clear snow from ADA ramps and bus stops adjacent to their properties.

But that doesn’t always happen.

Denver residents begin clearing sidewalks after first snowstorm of the season

“We should be caring about one another and doing everything we can to make sure that our neighbors feel as safe and as welcome as we want to feel,” said James Warren, a volunteer with #ShovelItForward, a community advocacy group of volunteers organized through Human Centric Design in collaboration with Denver Streets Partnership.

They take it upon themselves to clear snow and ice from RTD bus stops.

“Mobility and access to resources in the community are essential to living in a city, and it's also important for us as community members to be aware of the needs of our neighbors and to chip in where we can,” said Warren.

RTD has over 9,000 bus stops in the metro, but it’s only responsible for clearing snow from about 300, or less than three percent of them.

“RTD is not shoveling a lot of these stops. Businesses and neighbors aren't always doing it,” said Warren. “Sometimes you just have to step up and do it yourself.”

#ShovelItForward began in the middle of last winter.

“This is the first full year we're going to be doing it, and so we'd love to see where this goes,” said Warren.

Warren says there aren’t any rules to join.

He says people just need to get started.

“You don't need to wait to make a difference in your community. You can go out right now and see the need and take care of it,” said Warren.

That’s what he did, and he hopes others do, too.

For more information about #shovelitforward, visit this website.

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