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Snow-Clogged Sidewalks Create Challenge For People With Disabilities

BOSTON (CBS) - With sidewalks and crosswalks still clogged with snow, it's not easy to get around in Boston. The snow creates a big problem, especially for people with disabilities.

"I think it's hard. I think folks don't always see or understand that not shoveling impedes other people's access to our city's infrastructure and our sidewalks," said Kyle Robidoux, who is legally blind.

When sidewalks or crosswalks are blocked, Kyle has got a problem. "This definitely does challenge my independence," Kyle says.

snow sidewalk
Kyle Robidoux walks over a snowy crosswalk ramp (WBZ-TV)

It also challenges his safety.

"On my commute home the other day, I counted, I hopped over four snow banks," Kyle said.

In Boston, property owners are required to keep sidewalks and curb cuts clear. In fact, just this week, the city gave out nearly 400 tickets for failure to clear sidewalks. The fines range from $50 to $200.

CHECK: Boston Rules For Clearing Snow

"If people are looking to blame the city for not shoveling the crosswalks, I'm not going to take the responsibility for that," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.

Snow sidewalk
Kyle Robidoux walks on an icy Boston sidewalk (WBZ-TV)

Mayor Walsh says there's only so much the Department of Public Works can do and property owners need to do the rest.

"We need help from everybody. We have hundreds of thousands of crosswalks and intersections in our city," Mayor Walsh said. "Having the ability to go out and clear them all as a city, we just don't have the means to do that."

In the meantime, people like Kyle, or people who use wheelchairs, struggle.

"Yeah. It's dangerous. It's a little bit of choose your own adventure trying to figure out how exactly to navigate the city," he says.

The rules for Boston are to have sidewalks and curb ramps cleared within three hours after the end of a storm.

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