Safe Sidewalk Award nominations sought

By KTVZ.COM news sources
POSTED: 11:10 AM PST February 8, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

The Deschutes County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) seeks nominations of businesses that make the extra effort to keep their sidewalks clear of debris and hazards.  Last year the award was expanded to  recognize year-round maintenance of sidewalks. 

The Safe Sidewalk Awards will be presented during a Deschutes County Board of Commissioners business meeting this spring.  Business and property winners will receive a certificate from the County and acknowledgment from their area Chamber of Commerce.

Along with the snow and ice of winter, there are many other sidewalk hazards that are present year-round that need attention.  These include such things as low-hanging vegetation, irrigation overspray, and deteriorating sidewalks.  All of these conditions can create challenging and often dangerous conditions on sidewalks.

BPAC would like to remind County business and property owners of their responsibility to maintain clear sidewalks.  Many people are not aware of the particular codes set forth in each city within Deschutes County that ensures public safety and its relationship to sidewalks.  Sisters, Redmond and Bend all have ordinances relating to the clearing and maintaining of sidewalks year-round. 

While the language varies a bit from city to city, the message is the same – business or property owners must clear ice or snow from the sidewalk adjoining their property within six hours of daylight and year-round maintenance to ensure a pathway clear of vegetation and other hazards that encroach into the pedestrian way.

These codes not only help make sidewalks safer, but in commercial areas they encourage good business practices.  When pathways are clear, the message to customers is that the business cares about safety and welcomes access for all to the front door.

BPAC wants to acknowledge people who are doing an outstanding job of keeping pathways clear.  The following businesses have been recognized in past years with a Safe Sidewalk award:  Miller Lumber and Bend Pet Express.

The BPAC is an advisory committee of the Deschutes County Commission and seeks to improve conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians throughout Deschutes County.

Now until Friday, March 1, nominations can be sent to: Deschutes County Planner Cynthia Smidt  at Cynthia.Smidt@deschutes.org.

For more information about this award or about BPAC, please visit: www.deschutes.org/cdd/bikeandped .