"There is urgent need to remove snow from sidewalks," writes Adele Haddad. "Safe walking is just as essential as safe driving.
"Many senior citizens have broken their limbs because of uncleared sidewalks. My mother was one of them. Also a neighbor who was confined to bed for eight weeks.
"The elderly should be exposed to such dangers. They must buy food and medicine, visit doctors and hospitals, and make other essential trips.
"They should be able to do these things without risking broken bones."
Most cities require residents to clean their sidewalks, and the District is no exception. Legislation in this field usually requires the cleaning of sidewalks within a stated number of hours after the ending of snowfall. If a new snow falls during the grace period, the time count begins anew.
Because of the escape clauses in the legislation and the inability of the aged and infirm to clear their walks, enforcement is often lax.
However, a claimant's attorney warns: "The chief value of the sidewalk-clearing laws is in establishing negligence when a pedestrian is injured on an unswept walk. But the worst offender here is the federal government - which seldom cleans its walks and does not permit as injured person to sue."