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Editorial: Seasonal travel, rules change

October already brought accumulating snow, so we know this could be the start of a long winter. At least our rusty winter driving habits were tested early.

In the city, there are a couple of things to be done that will make both driving and walking safer this winter.

Police Chief Roger Leque spoke about these in last week's Journal. They bear repeating.

  • One, please keep your sidewalks cleared of snow and ice. The city gives home owners and merchants 24 hours after the snow and ice arrives to make sure that happens.

    There are plenty of people who get around on foot each winter. Many are students, but there are others, including the elderly. The latter may not be as sure-footed and are also more susceptible to broken bones from falling.

    Just as we expect the city and county to keep our roads clear, there's the same expectation that property owners keep sidewalks clear so pedestrians can travel without slipping or falling.

  • Two, as of Nov. 1, alternative parking went into effect. It will remain so, regardless of weather conditions, until the end of March.

    The intent is not to cause parking hardships but to create a wider path on city streets so street workers can better get at plowing away snow.

    The system is really easy to follow: For overnight parking, park on the odd-numbered side of the street on odd calendar dates and the even-numbered side on even dates. Park according to the date that comes after midnight.

    There are of course warnings, fines and towings that could result from overnight parking on the wrong side of the street. A bill for services may also result if the city has to clear your snowy, icy sidewalk.

    What's worth noting is that winter travel -- whether by foot or wheel -- can be hazardous. We need to drive slower and, probably, walk slower plus remember that some rules of the road and sidewalk have changed.

    Online Poll: Twin Cities, here we come

    The Journal's online poll question this week brought up the proposed Wisconsin high-speed passenger rail service and asked: If it stopped close to River Falls, where would riders most like to go?

    As of early Tuesday afternoon, the results were:

  • Twin Cities, 45.5%
  • Nowhere, 25.8%
  • Milwaukee/Chicago, 13.6%
  • Green Bay/Appleton, 10.6%
  • Madison, 4.5%

    To add your vote, go to

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