Man who uses scooter: Please clear sidewalks

Kentwood, snowy sidwalks
Floyd Martenies' motorized scooter traverses a snowy sidewalk in Kentwood. (Jan. 4, 2018)

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kentwood man who relies on a motorized scooter to get around is asking the members of his community to remember to clear the sidewalks around their homes and businesses.

Floyd Martenies is mostly confined to his motorized scooter, but has worked recently to use his walker more often. He doesn’t have a car, so he uses his scooter to travel half a mile to the intersection of 44th Street and Breton Road SE to run errands.

“With me getting prescriptions and getting food and stuff like that, I have no choice but to go out and get it,” he told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday evening.

The problem is that the sidewalks he needs to use aren’t being cleared properly. That means in order to maintain his independence, he must risk getting stuck in the snow on his scooter or use his walker and risk falling.

“It wears you out and the thing of it is, I don’t want to go out in the street,” he explained. “It’s a reminder for people… Hey, get out there and start doing something.”

The city of Kentwood told 24 Hour News 8 it contracts out snow clearing for many of the main sidewalks throughout the area, but the responsibility ultimately falls on the property owner.

The northwest corner of the intersection of 44th and Breton is in Grand Rapids, which has an ordinance saying owners must maintain the sidewalks.

If you notice a sidewalk isn’t being properly cleared, you can contact your municipality to file a complaint.