Resident: Why isn’t the city clearing snow from the Riverwalk?

A downtown Shelton resident has questioned why the Riverwalk isn’t being plowed after snowstorms.

Carol Morabito, who lives in the Avalon Shelton complex on Canal Street, was particularly concerned about the new Riverwalk section behind the Avalon, where she said many Avalon dog owners regularly walk their canines.

“It hasn’t been cleared after any of the recent snowstorms,” Morabito told the Board of Aldermen at a meeting Wednesday night.

The snow-covered Riverwalk behind the Avalon apartment complex, which hasn’t been cleared of snow this winter.

The snow-covered Riverwalk behind the Avalon apartment complex, which hasn’t been cleared of snow this winter.

Instead, an inconsistent, uneven and narrow path through the snow has been created by human and dog footprints.

She did note that the Riverwalk section that goes between the Avalon and Birmingham condo building appears to have been plowed once, although there still is a layer of snow on top of the brick pavers.

Morabito said the better-known, more-used Riverwalk section in Veterans Memorial Park also isn’t being cleared of snow, and this is a spot where many people like to walk — even in the winter.

“It’s very, very icy,” she said of the main Riverwalk, where she recently fell on the steps near the riverfront.

 

‘Liability issue’

Morabito said Avalon is a dog-friendly residential rental complex, and the Riverwalk is where people living there take their dogs so the dogs can relieve themselves.

“We have no choice but to walk on that pathway,” she said, describing its current condition as “dangerous” and worrying it may not be clear of snow and ice until the spring because it gets so little direct sunlight.

A view from Canal Street of the new Riverwalk section, between the Avalon complex (on the left) and the Birmingham condo building (on the right).

A view from Canal Street of the new Riverwalk section, between the Avalon complex (on the left) and the Birmingham condo building (on the right).

Morabito noted the unsafe conditions could “be a liability issue” for the city, since both Riverwalk sections were built and are maintained by the city.

Some sidewalks along Canal Street — including those on city land — haven’t been regularly cleared after snowstorms, she added, presenting another hazard to downtown pedestrians.

She also said the decorative street lamps installed in the new Riverwalk section have never been turned on. “So not only it is icy, but it’s dark,” she said.

 

In touch with mayor’s office

Morabito said she had been in touch with Mayor Mark Lauretti’s office about her concerns, and was told clearing streets of snow has to be the top priority.

A snow-covered sidewalk on Canal Street before it was partially cleared. This sidewalk is in front of the Spongex building (on the right), which is owned by an entity connected to developer John Guedes.

A snow-covered sidewalk on Canal Street before it was partially cleared. This sidewalk is in front of the Spongex building (on the right), which is owned by an entity connected to developer John Guedes.

She said she understands the need to concentrate on roads first, but hopes a schedule can be created in the future to also clear the Riverwalk paths even if it’s a day or so after the streets.

Morabito said some of the Canal Street sidewalks she was concerned about were partially cleared after she spoke to the mayor’s office, for which she is grateful.

 

 

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