Archive for Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Define ‘lenient’

December 16, 2008


To the editor:

It is reasonable to require sidewalks to be cleared of snow in a timely fashion, but it is not reasonable to require owners of abutting property to clear snow pushed over a walk by street plows, whether or not the walk was cleared beforehand. I have often seen my freshly shoveled walk covered by the city plow, typically to several times the thickness of the original snowfall, and if that snow partially melts then freezes, clearing this ice is nearly impossible.

Calls to the appropriate city office elicit sympathetic responses and word that my complaint will be passed on, but I have never had a call back from someone in authority. A guideline to “be lenient in issuing tickets in cases where city snow plows have covered sidewalks” (Journal World, Dec. 3) is unclear. What does “lenient” mean? That I am given more time but am expected to shovel twice? That the city-plowed snow can remain? And who is legally responsible if someone is injured after a cleared walk has been plowed over?

Three possible solutions: The city could plow the sidewalks as is done in some communities; city crews could be educated as to which streets have abutting sidewalks and instructed not to plow them so near the curb; or the city could clear the sidewalk when its owner complains. The first and third will entail some city expense, the third leaves open the matter of legal liability for injuries.

A revised ordinance must address this problem directly and clearly. It is important to pedestrians and property owners alike.

Charles Wyttenbach,


budwhysir 9 years ago

with everthing going on in this town, Im not to worried about this till they come knocking at my door asking me to sign something.Imagine the day when they made it a law that you must mow your yard. (for those unaware, if you dont mow your yard the city will do it for you and charge you). This I would say could be compared to a fine

jafs 9 years ago

There is in fact such an ordinance if you let your lawn grow too high.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 9 years ago

The city government makes every attempt to micromanage your life. That is why I live in the county, it's not perfect, but a little better. There are so many city ordinances that no one person can know them all. Imagine the nightmare police officers face. You continually have flaky commissioners that want to run your life even more. If a city plow covers your sidewalk, THEY should come shovel it. End of story. Thank you, Lynn

Chris Ogle 9 years ago

Heck, I would just like a sidewalk...

Jaylee 9 years ago

i thought it was mostly the neighborhood committees' who issue warnings and fines for lawns. who cares i guess.kansas as a whole, not just the city of lawrence, sucks at dealing with snowy/icy weather. coolest/scariest drive ever? i-70 to colorado in a snowstorm! WOOO!!!!!!! you just know that eventually this snow will make sense when youre driving to the mountains.

GardenMomma 9 years ago

THANK YOU Charles Wyttenbach! I have wondered this exact question myself since I've heard about the "new" ordinance.My sidewalk has also been repeatedly covered with street plowing. Last winter I had a four foot pile that took well into the spring to completely melt away.In the process of plowing the street, city plows have also completely destroyed the curb in front of my sidewalk.

BorderRat 9 years ago

Wow, you get your street plowed?

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