At first blush, it's pretty easy to imagine what a group called We Walk in Duluth talked about at their advocacy and social hour this week.
But here's something you might not know: the City's of Duluth's policy on snow removal on their website and the way snow removal is actually handled in the city bear little resemblance to one another. As a result, snow removal by city residents is pretty much whatever you want to do - or don't.
Here's something else you might not know: in some neighborhoods in Duluth, up to 30% of the people there don't have cars. Which means they're depending on clear sidewalks to get where they need to go.
So when you scratch the surface of this snow-removal issue, there are all kinds of layers - and implications - for everything from how state money is spent, how and where snow-removal dollars and priorities are allocated, and how projects need to be reimagined to take walking, biking and public transit into account with an eye toward environmental responsibility.
More information about We Walk In Duluth is available here on their Facebook page.
(In Sweden, they took a new look at government services using something called "gender-balanced budgeting." The conclusion? More women and children walk than drive, so walkways and bike paths get cleared before streets. You can read the article here:)