Archive for Friday, December 9, 2005

Law requires sidewalks to be shoveled after snows

December 9, 2005


James Dunn sometimes wonders if it's worth it.

As a local landlord, he shovels snow from the sidewalks at his own home and at many of his rental properties.

"I do the 50 feet of sidewalk or so that is in front of the house, but then I look around and wonder where the people are going to go from there because a lot of the other sidewalks aren't shoveled," Dunn said.

But by early today, technically every public sidewalk in the city should be shoveled, according to a city ordinance. People who don't have the sidewalks in front of their homes shoveled of the snow that fell earlier this week could face a $20 per day fine from the city's Neighborhood Resources Department.

Several city officials said they saw some of the same situations Dunn did.

"We're a little better at shoveling our sidewalks than we were a few years ago, but we still have a long ways to go," Mayor Boog Highberger said. "It's important because there are a lot of people in this town who depend on walking for their transportation."

Barry Walthall, the city's codes enforcement manager, said his office had received only two calls regarding unshoveled sidewalks Thursday, but he expected more today. Anyone who wants to report an unshoveled sidewalk can call the Neighborhood Resources Department at 832-7700.

Walthall said all property owners, or occupants, were given a warning and five days to remove the snow before the $20 per day fine is assessed by inspectors. Walthall said fines were rare because people usually cleared the sidewalk after receiving a warning.

Volunteers needed

The city and the Roger Hill Volunteer Center operate the Safe Walkways Program to help senior citizens and people who have a disability shovel their sidewalks. Anyone interested in volunteering to shovel snow as part of the program or in need of having snow shoveled can call 832-3338. Applicants and volunteers are asked to register by Jan. 6.


NotASquishHead 12 years, 4 months ago

What about the city's responsibility to clear the streets? I live in the area of 6th/Monterey and I am forced to drive in 4x4 for the last 3/4 mile home because the snow is still deep. I can understand that I am on a residential street and it is not a priority but it has been 24 hours since the snow stopped. Drive to JO county and every street is clear.

Absolutely ridiculous! I'm not trying to blame the street crews, it's not their fault. There is a big man with the initials M.W. and his supervisory staff that need to go...

Ragingbear 12 years, 4 months ago

James Dunn, local slumlord whining again. There's a big friggin suprise.

classclown 12 years, 4 months ago

You silly people. Don't you realize by now that a double standard exists? The laws are based on a "Do as I say and not as I do" principle.

"Get your sidewalk shoveled right away and we'll get to the streets whenever we feel like getting around to it if we ever decide that we want to."

Just like in the summer you are expected to keep your lawn trim and neat looking while they are allowed to let areas they're responsible for get at least waist high before they even consider getting around to it.

On a serious note however some people may not realize that a homeowner is liable for any injuries if a person were to slip on the snow or ice on the public sidewalk in front of their home. So it's in a homeowner's best interest to keep the sidewalk clean in front of their house. Or buy one that doesn't have a sidewalk in front of it and keep it that way.

kansasboy 12 years, 4 months ago

I'll shovel the snow when the streets are cleared. Besides you get a 5 day grace period, the snow would be melted by the 5th day. hahahahahaha

redneck 12 years, 4 months ago

This law is biggest joke I have ever seen in my life. I expect to see a Butt-Load of tickets issued. Are the people who enforce this law friggin blind? And you are going to give them 5 days to get their sidewalk cleared? The snow will melt before 3 days go by. I think the next time I get a ticket for speeding, I'm going to fight it in court because I should be given 5 days to slow down. Speeding isn't any more dangerous than not clearing the snow and ice from you're sidewalks. You can drive down any street and most sidewalks are not scooped. Most don't even make any kind of an attempt to clear their sidewalks. I have a disibility and I have use the sidewalks to get to the grocery store on my scooter. I haven't been to the store since it started snowing. I guarantee that if I fall on somebody's sidewalk that hasn't had the snow cleared, that a lawyer will taking them to court. You can take that promise to the bank. On a positive note. I think the city did a pretty good job cleaning off the streets, but they should have started a little earlier. For some reason, they think the snow has to stop falling before they can clear any streets. I am lucky that my landlord is very good at cleaning the sidewalks.

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