Walking has health benefits. It is a low-barrier type of exercise that most people can do. It doesn’t take a lot of special gear or a gym membership. In older people especially walking can improve heart health, lower blood sugar and reduce pain.
Walking can improve mental health and it is good for the immune system. Taking a walk is also an opportunity to socialize and meet neighbors. Taking a walk generally doesn’t harm the environment and Covid-19 doesn’t spread well in the great outdoors.
It is challenging to walk outside in St. Paul in the winter. The sidewalks are covered with snow that eventually turns to ice. Walking is slow going and dangerous especially considering that local hospitals don’t have the capacity to treat a broken bone.
If your house is on the market it is especially important to keep the walks clear. We can tell a lot about how well run a condo association is by how the sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots look a few days after a snowstorm.
Saint Paul City Ordinance requires snow and ice to be removed from sidewalks within 24 hours.
To report a sidewalk that’s a safety hazard and needs shoveling, contact the Department of Safety and Inspections at 651-266-8989. Be sure to tell us the address of the property and check to be certain it’s within city limits.
The City will contact the property owner to make sure the sidewalk is shoveled as soon as possible. If the owner does not comply, the City will send a crew to clear the sidewalk and bill the property owner for the (high-priced) work.
The city also has a downloadable, printable door hanger that can be used to remind a neighbor to shovel. I am not sure how to use that on the sidewalks that are along Kellogg Blvd and in other places where there are no homes or businesses. There are several downtown sidewalks that never get shoveled.