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Archive for Wednesday, January 6, 2010

City issues more than 140 tickets for unshoveled sidewalks

Spencer Mann throws snow that he was shoveling around the Watkins Community Museum as snow began to fall in the Lawrence area just after noon Wednesday, Jan. 6. The Colorado State freshman is working on his community service project before returning to college.

Spencer Mann throws snow that he was shoveling around the Watkins Community Museum as snow began to fall in the Lawrence area just after noon Wednesday, Jan. 6. The Colorado State freshman is working on his community service project before returning to college.

January 6, 2010, 11:56 a.m. Updated January 6, 2010, 5:45 p.m.

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City issues tickets for unshoveled sidewalks

Before snow started falling Wednesday, city officials issued 142 tickets to property owners who had failed to clear their sidewalks from the previous snowfall. Enlarge video

They weren’t bluffing.

Before snow started falling Wednesday, city officials issued 142 tickets to property owners who had failed to clear their sidewalks from the previous snowfall.

“We have seen quite a few sidewalks that appear to have been untouched since the original snowfall,” said Brian Jimenez, the city’s codes enforcement manager.

The tickets are for $72 total — a $20 fine and $52 in Municipal Court costs. Violators likely don’t know yet they’ve received a ticket. That’s because the city is sending the tickets through the mail, in part, to ensure property owners rather than tenants receive the tickets.

The city’s ordinance requires property owners to clear public sidewalks that run through their property within 48 hours after the end of a snowstorm. City inspectors began issuing tickets Tuesday — 48 hours after Sunday’s snow — and stopped when snow began falling on Wednesday. Property owners now have 48 hours from the end of this snowstorm to clear their public sidewalks — basically defined as sidewalks that run along a public street.

Jimenez said inspectors checked 366 properties that had been the subject of complaints. Property owners can choose to contest the ticket in Municipal Court, or pay the $72 fine and fee.

A majority of city commissioners said Wednesday that they thought the ordinance ultimately would make it more likely that people will shovel their sidewalks in a timely manner.

“I’m hearing that people are upset about getting a fine, so maybe that will change their behavior in the future,” City Commissioner Lance Johnson said.

At least one city commissioner, though, wants the city to consider scaling back the ordinance or scrapping it. Commissioner Mike Amyx — who voted against the ordinance in December 2008 when it was proposed — said he still has significant concerns.

“I’m afraid that we have placed people who for a variety reasons can’t move the snow, we’ve placed them in a situation where they are trying to do it anyway,” Amyx said. “That concerns me.”

The city operates a program with Douglas County Senior Services that provides volunteers to the elderly and others who cannot shovel snow. But commissioners who support the ordinance said more volunteer groups need to be found.

“I wish we could have more of that and less tickets,” City Commissioner Aron Cromwell said.

To lodge a complaint about sidewalks, call 832-7700; to receive information about volunteers, call 842-0543.

Comments

4 years, 11 months ago

Chad, If the inspectors are already at the property to verify that the walk is not cleared, why are they mailing the tickets? Is it really necessary to pay another $1.50 in supplies and manpower (minimum) for each ticket when the inspector is already at the residence? Please tell me that someone is verifying these addresses and not just ticketing off of complaints. I'm one of those that received a prior warning and my sidewalk WAS CLEAR by the day and time specified on the warning letter.

ferrislives 4 years, 11 months ago

So will the city receive and pay for tickets they should receive for their own un-shoveled public sidewalks? I'm sure that I'm not the only one that sees the hypocrisy.

Kimberlee Bourdon 4 years, 11 months ago

Something seriously needs to be done about the Set Em Up Jacks parking lot. It's super dangerous!

been_there 4 years, 11 months ago

They are sending them through the mail, that is just silly. How do they know who to issue the ticket to? Does it go to the person living there or is it sent to the property owner? If it is sent to the house and it's a rental, whose tenant is suppose to be shoveling, the owner may not know he has a ticket. The city needs to give more details on how this works. They would have to be sent certified or something like that to prove that it reached the person or they could say they never got it or they could actually not receive it because it really does get lost in the mail.

rdave 4 years, 11 months ago

What does everybody think about an ordinance which prohibts street parking after certain levels of snow. It seems this would provide street crews a better shot at clearing and avoiding some of the now single lane streets. Just a thought....

4 years, 11 months ago

Well just in case you see a violation that you'd like to report, I hunted down the web form for this. www.lawrenceks.org/pds/code_violation...

PS It's snowing downtown hard. Guess we get a reset huh?

Jeanne Cunningham 4 years, 11 months ago

If instead of spending the money it takes to manage the complaints, staff the inspectors, fuel the vehicles, print the tickets, mail the tickets, etc., etc., etc., a crew was sent out to clear the sidewalk, wouldn't the world be a much nicer place? and, it might even cost less? But, then who would there be to BLAME???

MaryKatesPillStash 4 years, 11 months ago

I cannot speak for the City of Lawrence, but I used to work in the planning department in another city, and our City ordinances stated that tickets/complaints had to be mailed via certified mail to the owner of the property. The owner of the property was verified through the county assessor.

Pete_Schweti 4 years, 11 months ago

You mean to tell me that the same City that couldn't be bothered to send a police officer to my home when my car was vandalized overnight ("we can take your report over the phone") is investing the time and manpower to send an inspector on-site to verify homeowners don't shovel the city's sidewalks and then mail them tickets?

Screw this city. Right in the ear.

hipper_than_hip 4 years, 11 months ago

The snow tickets go to the property owner, which is why they are mailed.

4 years, 11 months ago

Beerguy, I noticed that too. I thought we should all find those city owned walkways and give the city a helping hand on knowing which of it's properties needs attention....

otto 4 years, 11 months ago

I rent a house and it states in the lease that I have to abide by the city codes and am responsible for clearing snow. So it appears that if I don't do it the property owner gets the ticket. Sweet ---

50YearResident 4 years, 11 months ago

I drove around town yesterday while running some errands and it looks like there are litterly thousands of homes that haven't shoveled. At $72 per property owner it looks like the city will make enough money to buy several more properties.

SnakeFist 4 years, 11 months ago

Pete_Schweti: I agree, the city and the people have much more important things to worry about than snow on the sidewalks. For some reason, the Journal World would rather editorialize on the need to enforce the shoveling ordinance rather than focus on much more serious issues, including serious crime.

Are the names of the complainers public record? Do we get to know who the busybodies are in our community?

gsxr600 4 years, 11 months ago

Gah if you whiny wimps don't want to man up and shovel your damn sidewalk, give me a call and I'll do it for less than $72. At this point, there's no excuse for not taking care of the situation. Stop be lazy American lard buckets.

ralphralph 4 years, 11 months ago

Make a shovel that looks like a video game controller and maybe you could get a kid to shovel a sidewalk ...

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 11 months ago

Dismally inappropriate use of power by government.

Unfair, unreasonable and not necessary.

vinividivici 4 years, 11 months ago

Sorry Otto, but you'd still be responsible for paying the ticket since your lease stipulates you have to follow city codes and ordinances. You're landlord would just be in charge of enforcing it :)

So_tired_of_the_whiners 4 years, 11 months ago

As a night time dog walker, I really enjoy having to hop on the street because the folks managed to clear every square inch of their driveway but neglected their sidewalks. It isn't that hard...

Steve Jacob 4 years, 11 months ago

I hope everyone that gets a ticket goes to court, just to tie up the court system.

K_Verses_The_World 4 years, 11 months ago

The wind it was howlin' and the snow was outrageous. We chopped through the night and we chopped through the dawn.

Rokchalk 4 years, 11 months ago

I'll bet that its just a few whiners responsible for the bulk of the complaints. Needs of the many, not the few! Oh, I forgot, we are in the ROL (Republic of Lawrence).

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 11 months ago

Wow lawrence is that hard up for cash it it targeting handicapped, elderly, and people who left the city on vacation.

ksjayhawk74 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, complainers. Man up. It's about personal and civic responsibility.

It's not that hard to shovel a sidewalk. If you don't do it, your sidewalk becomes a dangerous sheet of ice or a mound of snow that people have to walk in the street to get around. If you don't, someone could get hurt on your sidewalk because you're too lazy to use a shovel for 10 minutes.

Also, having an unshoveled sidewalk looks really trashy.

If the city is out at people's property anyway, no, they shouldn't just take care of someone's sidewalk for them...

The City's ability to clear the streets is irrelevant. They still cleared the streets faster than the people who got tickets could clear their tiny sidewalks.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 11 months ago

has it even been 48 hours between snow storms? aren't we in the middle of one right now. so how does the city know that the snow falling now isn't the snow on the sidewalks. Are they going to send out crews to investigate every complaint and then run tests to determine the age of the snow in question?

not to mention, the city has done a dismal job of cleaning their own responsibilities. I"m going to run over the next pedestrian that is forced to walk in traffic at 6th & Iowa. that should prove a point.

Charles L Bloss Jr 4 years, 11 months ago

Because they are too chicken to put them on the front door. After all they aren't armed like the humane society is. Thank you, Lynn

wagonburner23 4 years, 11 months ago

Can they find themselves for not plowing the roads for over two days?

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

I always worried that we would get a ticket, because we don't have a sidewalk, but most of the rest of the neighborhood does. I have no idea why, but I always worry that the city will assume there is a sidewalk under all that snow.

John Hamm 4 years, 11 months ago

rdave Yes, In Kansas City Metro it's called Emergency Snow Routes no parking, ticket for no chains or snow tires (if your stuck or blocking roadway). Should be here but there's so much "necessary" on-street parking on major roadways (Kentucky, Tennessee, etc.) it'd never fly.

somedude20 4 years, 11 months ago

Roads around my place still (STILL city A-holes) are not cleared. In fact, they have a good packing of ice that allows your car ( even while going under 5mph) to slide around and hit another car or better yet take down a power line so more of us can freeze to death. I want to take a dump on each of the commissioner's yards as my way of saying thank you for all of the hard work that you doo doo for us!!

friendlyjhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

My sidewalk and drive way turn into ice after shoveling, just as the city maintained streets turn into ice after plowing. What about all that ice that is still on my street under this new snow we are getting? And for all you lovely dog walkers what about all that dog poop that is plainly visible on the snow in my yard? How many tickets will be given out for that? The city of Lawrence has so many people that have the tattletale attitude. This is just another way of pitting people against each other. I feel sorry for every senior citizen who has to fork over funds to have the sidewalk shoveled or fined because it wasn't. What a way to treat the citizens of Lawrence by finding another way to tax them.

parrothead8 4 years, 11 months ago

Healthcare_Moocher (Anonymous) says… If they have time to ride around and look for people to ticket, then they have time to get out and assist people.

They don't "ride around and look for people to ticket" at random. They only go to addresses that someone has complained about. And, if I remember correctly from a previous story on this subject, the city employs only two people who do this, among other of their job duties.

curlystyle 4 years, 11 months ago

Easy solution for those who are complaining. . . Shovel your Sidewalk! ! !=No Tickets

ferrislives 4 years, 11 months ago

I always thought that it was screwy that you can own a piece of property with a city-owned sidewalk on it, and you are forced to maintain it for them. And if you don't maintain their section of land for them, you get ticketed. I'd like to just dig it up and create a garden, but I'd be fined for that as well.

lady_bug 4 years, 11 months ago

How about instead of complaining that someone didn't clean the sidewalk that YOU want to walk on, YOU take a shovel and clean it and then you can walk up and down the cleared sidewalk as much as you want? Or come and ring my doorbell and let me know that you would like to be hired. I'd pay you. Beats giving the money to the city.

James McGuire 4 years, 11 months ago

Can anybody explain to me the $52 court fees. I get that someone has to click a button on a computer to record that the citation has been paid, and that someone has to take those checks to a bank, but $52 seems a little high to me.

livetocook 4 years, 11 months ago

Who is responsible for the sidewalk on Kasold between Tam O' Shanter and Quail Creek?

My guess is the City of Lawrence. If so, they didn't start snow removal until last Thursday.

Snow blower owners: It looks like we need to put some 0W-30 in our engines, 5W-30 might not work Thursday and Friday.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

Relocating cars for snow removal will not work that well. Where are they going to relocate? To another street?

I say use salt and sand rather than plow on streets that use street parking. Why bury or block transportation with a small mountain of snow? This would also help prevent driveways and sidewalks from becoming more of a hassle for tenants and/or property owners. Why cover up a cleaned sidewalk with plowed snow? Why block a cleaned driveway?

After cleaning my driveway it required 8 wheel barrow loads to remove plowed snow.

Sheila Hooper White 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm so tired of the whining!! Shovel your sidewalks!! My husband and I both work 40+ hour a week jobs. Our driveway and sidewalk was shoveled after the snow on Christmas. We drove to my moms without much of a problem. She lives on a dead end street that is usually one of the last to be plowed. (And I know this b/c I lived there for 18 years and my husband worked for the city street dept.) We also shoveled their driveway that day...is it really that hard. If you are able bodied get out there and shovel. I know many people who are offering to shovels others drives for alot less than the $72. If you know someone who can't do theirs, offer to shovel it for them.

This is as bad as the not closing the schools today. My daughter and her friends were offered a ride this morning and chose to walk. We made sure they were bundled up and guess what they all made it to school (over many sidewalks that hadn't been shoveled) and they made it home. Safe and sound.

Can we just quit the complaining and be happy. If they plow..people complain, if they don't plow...people complain. If they cancel school...people complain, if they don't cancel....guess what, people complain. It's sad so many people let such little things steal their joy. Be happy, enjoy your day. We aren't promised tomorrow.

vinividivici 4 years, 11 months ago

Why do half of you live here? You hate the snow, and you hate the responsibility that comes with being a property owner.

http://dallas.craigslist.org/apa/

Here's a link to help you find an apartment elsewhere. No snow, you won't be a property owner, and every other responsible property owner in this town won't have to listen to you whine. Problem solved for everyone.

Sheila Hooper White 4 years, 11 months ago

vini - I agree! Like I was telling the hubby. If you live in Kansas and don't expect snow...um you're an idiot. If you live in Kansas and don't expect it to be 100 degrees in July and August...um...yeah you get the idea. Come on people. It's not that bad.

Proud to call Lawrence, Kansas my home:)

Sheila Hooper White 4 years, 11 months ago

Why is it b/c I ask you to shovel your sidewalk, I'm snooty?

Eride 4 years, 11 months ago

I think it is sad that the city has to fine people to try to get them to do something that has been common courtesy for the last several decades.

You have to maintain a sidewalk that abridges your property. It is the law. Period. If you don't like it, tough for you. If you are going to be selfish about it and are unwilling to spend 10 minutes a couple of times a year outside with a snow shovel how bout you think of it this way. You are also liable for injuries that occur due to your negligent maintenance of a sidewalk abridging your property. So if I am out there walking and slip and seriously hurt myself and you haven't deemed it worth your time to shovel your sidewalk once in over 10 days... guess who is picking up the tab?

So if it isn't worth it to you out of good will to your neighbors, if it isn't worth it to you because it is the law... maybe it will be worth it to you that if you don't do it and someone gets hurt you can be liable for it.

PS - I will admit I reported at least 25 residences and I am proud of it. Every single residence I reported had cleaned their driveway off completely and had not once shoveled any of their sidewalk... a few of them even had thrown the snow from their driveway on the sidewalk.

Enjoy your tickets.

livetocook 4 years, 11 months ago

Dancemomx2- I am very confused from reading your comment. My eyes hurt.

vinividivici 4 years, 11 months ago

"I think it is sad that the city has to fine people to try to get them to do something that has been common courtesy for the last several decades."

No lie Eride

sherlock 4 years, 11 months ago

another city ordinance: cars are not supposed to use the street for storage! they are to be moved every 48 hours or can be ticketed! Another 48 hrs and not moved, towed! So sure can tell the cars that are just being "stored" on the city streets. The city streets are not "parking lots."
I believe also that if someone falls on youre sidewalk, you are liable again! Youre homeowners ins. or rental ins. just might have to pay out for a broken arm or back! Cheaper to have it cleaned and shoveled. No I didnt enjoy paying $25 on Sat. after Chrismas for my sidewalks either, but was too heavy for me to shovel too!
Stop griping and get to it, all those that havent already cleaned theirs off! One feels sorry for those trying to walk over on 23rd too, some people dont have any other way to get to the store . And very few of the business have done anything towards shoveling their sidewalks.

Judgesmails 4 years, 11 months ago

Eride - what a pathetic life you must live.

What a crybaby.

livetocook 4 years, 11 months ago

Eride (Anonymous) says…

I'll be carrying my phone with me on my run tomorrow… for once something will be done about the lazy people who don't maintain their sidewalks… yay!

Were the 25 residences owned by lazy people?

That is amazing how you have the ability to determine who is lazy.

true_patriot 4 years, 11 months ago

No tickets should be allowed to be issued for streets that the city hasn't been able to clear, and no tickets should be issued in instances where the plowing action sends snow, slush or ice onto the sidewalks.

I've seen instances where the sidewalks have been cleared and were then recovered by subsequent plowing.

This doesn't mean concerned citizens won't clear walks in such annoying circumstances (in fact, I saw instances recently of neighbors joining in to plow sidewalks of elderly people and for people they knew were out of town), it just means there's not a double standard where citizens get penalized for standards the city itself is either unable to live up to or aren't met due to previous work being nullified by city action.

budwhysir 4 years, 11 months ago

My sidewalk is shoveled but not to code. I received a notice and my sidewalk was the ONLY one done on my street the day we received the notice (2 days later). Im not complaining about shoveling my drive or sidewalk, Im just complaining that the city wants to regulate the quality of the job during a time when the ice and snow was thick enough that the same city government that wants to send me a fine, could not plow the roads or run the public transit system. Double standard? I should say so. the city cant take care of its responsibility by making use of the tax money I have already offered so they will charge me MORE money for not being able to do a job that they couldnt do. Go figure. Complain no, tie up court time and expenses to fight this yes

Richard84 4 years, 11 months ago

I just dislocated and fractured my foot on Sunday night and will be out for three to six weeks. Usually shovel mine and my neighbors.

Anyone from the city sidewalk inspection department want to come shovel my driveway and sidewalk when this storm ends?

I will pay you much less than $72 but it will be in cash and tax free!!

ashmole 4 years, 11 months ago

Bravo to the city for finally showing some spine on this issue. It took long enough.

Ricky_Vaughn 4 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Eride 4 years, 11 months ago

"livetocook (Anonymous) says… Eride (Anonymous) says… I'll be carrying my phone with me on my run tomorrow… for once something will be done about the lazy people who don't maintain their sidewalks… yay!

Were the 25 residences owned by lazy people?

That is amazing how you have the ability to determine who is lazy."

It seems pretty clear to me that if you can't manage to shovel your sidewalk once in over ten days that you're lazy. I will add, inconsiderate and stupid to that descriptor as well.

I run every day all over the city and I have been taking notes. I don't feel bad about it at all. The people I have complained about had days to take care of it, they knew or should have known to take care of it and almost every single one of them actually made the sidewalks worse by shoveling driveway snow onto the sidewalks. It isn't like I am trying to be an a here. The real aholes are the ones not even bothering to shovel their sidewalks once in over ten days when it is their civic and legal responsibility to do so. It is pretty pathetic that some people would be mad at me for trying to help out the situation for the thousands of people who use the sidewalks in this town instead of pointing at the people who aren't fulfilling their responsibilities on their own.

4 years, 11 months ago

Eride, you may not be trying to be an a**, but you sure as heck sound (read) like one!

My walk was shoveled over the holiday weekend, it wasn't pristine, you can't eat off of it and no you could not see the pavement. But there was a wide path that is safe to walk upon without the risk of slipping on ice. Yet I STILL received one of those warning letters. Am I annoyed? You bet I am.

livetocook 4 years, 11 months ago

Eride (Anonymous) says…
"I run every day all over the city and I have been taking notes."

Wow. You are truly talented.

anon1958 4 years, 11 months ago

cguirej (Anonymous) says…

Can anybody explain to me the $52 court fees. I get that someone has to click a button on a computer to record that the citation has been paid, and that someone has to take those checks to a bank, but $52 seems a little high to me.

I can explain this easy. Court fees are pretty much maxed out in Kansas because the legislature does not provide the court system with enough tax funds to run it.

This has been widely reported in the news in recent weeks.

livetocook 4 years, 11 months ago

Eride-

You should go for a run on Friday when the wind chill is expected to be -10 to -20 below 0.

Let me know how many citizens aren't upholding their civic and legal responsibilities.

So_tired_of_the_whiners 4 years, 11 months ago

friendlyjhawk, if my dog takes a poop in your yard, I will gladly pick it up... Of course I will put in into a paper bag and light it on fire on your front porch... Now shovel your sidewalk, NOW!!! Well, not now, wait for the snow to stop coming down.

inglec 4 years, 11 months ago

For those of you who shoveled their sidewalks and still received a warning letter...take a photo of your work at shoveling your sidewalk and take it with you to court. Like the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

deskboy04 4 years, 11 months ago

Only in Lawrence would people worry so much about this.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

deskboy04 (Anonymous) says… Only in Lawrence would people worry so much about this.

People aren't as attached to their cars in Lawrence as they are in the rest of the state. We just consider them necessary evils. Many in Lawrence actually walk.

b_asinbeer 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm glad I live on a private road...no shoveling necessary.

guernica 4 years, 11 months ago

I suppose they probably sent a ticket to my house, even though all of us are spread across the country spending the winter break with our families.

SnakeFist 4 years, 11 months ago

Property owners are not liable for injuries that occur due to the state of city-owned sidewalks. If you don't believe the city owns the sidewalk, try removing it.

I don't shovel as a matter of principle - if the city can make you shovel the sidewalk, then they can make you shovel the street. Apparently, most of you sheep will gladly jump off a cliff if the city commands it, and then call the rest of us "lazy" and "unneighborly" for not jumping along with you.

ILoveLawrence 4 years, 11 months ago

I don't shovel as a matter of principle - if the city can make you shovel the sidewalk, then they can make you shovel the street. Apparently, most of you sheep will gladly jump off a cliff if the city commands it, and then call the rest of us “lazy” and “unneighborly” for not jumping along with you.


SnakeFist - they do make you "shovel the street" if you live in the older parts of Lawrence where garages empty onto the alley - the last storm I had to shovel not only my driveway but the alley as well in order to get out. Makes me want to park on the street - just what they're telling us not to do so that the snowplows can get through!

Christine Pennewell Davis 4 years, 11 months ago

answer me this, with the wind chill and air temp. being as bad as it is supposed to be does the city expect people to risk harm cleaning the sidewalks? I am sorry but we have done the sidewalks every time it has snowed but I am not doing them again until it at least gets above 0 and the wind chill is not as bad.

Christine Pennewell Davis 4 years, 11 months ago

Hey I did to figure it out, the chiefs said we suck but heck no the broncos' do not get to go to the play offs. The real question is why did'nt they play like that all season??

groundhog 4 years, 11 months ago

Everyone cited should plead not-guilty, request a jury trial, and appeal any conviction to district court.

lllwll 4 years, 11 months ago

I Think the dog walkers are the biggest complainers. Their thought process seems to be that if the sidewalks are not clear, how can my dog take a crap in your yard instead of my own.

BobandAlice 4 years, 11 months ago

Sure wish my dad was alive to read all these comments. He would have had a good laugh along with a lot of cussing - but sure to have inspired a lot of lively discussion.

doc1 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm sure that you are allowed to see who complained on you. If my elderly grandmother gets a ticket for her failure to get out the door with her walker and shovel snow then you can be sure the complainant will be found, all of the snow from her sidewalk will be emptied in their driveway and city hall will get $72.00 in pennies!

53girl 4 years, 11 months ago

Not only does the city have walks that are not shoveled, they have walks that are NOT walkable due to damage; giant cracks, breaks, lumps, etc. Try taking kids for a walk on that! Especially with a stroller! As for you narcs out there: how utterly neighborly of you to call in a complaint! You do not know each situation for each house you called about. Maybe you should try helping people instead of making them all detest seeing you jog past their homes! jmo

lounger 4 years, 11 months ago

a $20 fine and $52 in Municipal Court costs.

Gee, I wonder who is making the money here....

commuter 4 years, 11 months ago

Does anyone know if the USD497 sidewalks are not cleaned within the required time frame, can the city issue a ticket?

T_Time 4 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

parrothead8 4 years, 11 months ago

Cripes, what a bunch of whiners. Oh, boo-hoo, I have to shovel some snow off the sidewalk on my property even though I don't own it. Boo-hoo-hoo. It's so hard. I don't want to do anything for other people. The city that owns the sidewalk does things I don't like so I'm going to do things the city doesn't like. That'll teach 'em.

Jonathan Becker 4 years, 11 months ago

We are gonna need more cheese for all of the whine here.

budwhysir 4 years, 11 months ago

eride: I dont consider myself lazy, however, I dont wake up in the morning with the idea of trying to run on ice covered sidewalks and then get mad at others for not clearing them by the time I run by.

Also, I notice that in your post you mention nothing about shoveling a path down your sidewalk prior to leaving your house. Did you shovel when you left? Possibly spend some time helping some of those people you turned in. Wouldnt it be a great feeling if a few of those people where elderly or disabled like me and had to pay that fine before they could get someone to help.

Sheila Hooper White 4 years, 11 months ago

T Time - not sure where i called anyone a name. i do believe it's idiotic of people to think the weather isn't going to be like this in kansas in january.

inspire 4 years, 11 months ago

Free State high school has definitely not shoveled their sidewalks. With or without city wide residential ticketing, this is appalling. Can't imagine the liability they face if someone got hurt today- teacher, student, parent whatever.

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 11 months ago

I know of 3 people who received fines and they are currently deployed in Iraq....

how would you like to serve your country just to find out the city has hit you with a fine for going to war ?

livetocook 4 years, 11 months ago

Parrothead8- Have you made an attempt to remove or treat the ice on your sidewalk? I bet most citizens have not. You, myself and most of us on this thread probably haven't read the ordinance.
Here it is:

16-115 REMOVAL OF SNOW OR ICE FROM PUBLIC SIDEWALKS. (A) It shall be unlawful for the property owner of record of property immediately adjacent to a public sidewalk on public right-of-way to fail to remove from the sidewalk, within forty-eight (48) hours of the cessation of accumulation of snow or ice on the sidewalk, any snow or ice accumulated on such sidewalk or obstructing such sidewalk. If ice has accumulated of such character as to make removal thereof impossible, the sprinkling or placement of sand thereon within the time specified for removal in such a manner as to make such sidewalk safe for travel of pedestrians shall be deemed compliance with the provisions of this section. (Ord. 7456, Ord. 8324) (B) Pursuant to the authority of Charter Ordinance No. 31, employees of the Planning and Development Services Department shall have the authority to issue notices to appear for violations of this ordinance (Ord. 7456, Ord. 8324) (C) Violation of the provisions of this ordinance shall be considered a municipal offense and upon an adjudication of guilty, the violator shall be fined $20.00. Each day of a continuing violation shall be deemed a separate offense. (Ord. 7456, Ord. 8324)

backyardwino 4 years, 11 months ago

$50 and i'll drive over and shovel your walk as soon as this storm stops

ReadMyMind99 4 years, 11 months ago

Last year the city issued a warrant for my arrest because some a dog I got from the Humane Society ran away - constantly. Yes, I hired someone to build a better fence, then fix the holes the dachshund dug under the fence. You get the point. Anyway, the city issued me a $350 ticket. I refused to pay it and I received a letter stating I had a warrant for my arrest for an unspecified crime. Seriously?

T_Time 4 years, 11 months ago

dancemom...and I quote "um you're an idiot". I'm sure they expect it to snow in Kansas. That doesn't mean they have to like the snow. Also, doesn't make them an idiot. Alot of people have valid reasons for not being able to shovel snow off the sidewalk. I'm sure most people can find ordinances they think are rediculous, doesn't make them a bad person. Personally, I hate walking down Mass and stepping in dog crap. Should there be no dogs allowed on Mass?

basil 4 years, 11 months ago

Central Jr High also didn't have anyone out plowing/shoveling for the last go-round--and it is a main walkway from Barker to downtown.

I'm all for getting people to shovel their walks, but I'd like a little more on the city's side before they throw out tickets. They never plowed our street fully --ran by, but without the plows all the way down--and now we've got 3-inch ice ruts (and this before the current blizzard).

Sheila Hooper White 4 years, 11 months ago

T Time - you don't understand what i'm saying and i'm not going to argue with you about it. i think it's rude for people to leave dog crap anywhere but there own yards. i to have had to deal with it. anyway. you read it how you want.

YouPeopleAreCrazy 4 years, 11 months ago

Those of you who reported on your fellow citizens of Lawrence should be ashamed of yourselves. It's us against them, not us against us.

Eride reported on 25 residences? 25? Jesus, go get a hobby or something, and no, running is not a hobby, it is what you do when you are trying to get away from something that is on fire or causing imminent danger.

outtahere 4 years, 11 months ago

Just went out and shoveled my sidewalk. All of the ice I previously complained about actually came up easier this time. I think this latest snow insulated and it melted a bit if that makes any sense? Anyway, I'm not lazy it just got overwhelming, I suspect many of our good citizens feel overwhelmed as well. I apologize to all those who couldn't use my sidewalk, but really please lighten up. Everyone has struggles for any number of reasons that not one of us have knowledge of and this is all getting too harsh. Don't be so judgemental. So I wil be shoveling a few more times over the coming days and would be happy to lend a hand to anyone else who might feel overwhelmed right now. Anyone else want to ofer to pitch in? Apartment dwelling dog walkers?

livetocook 4 years, 11 months ago

dancemomx2 (Anonymous) says…

T Time - you don't understand what i'm saying and i'm not going to argue with you about it. i think it's rude for people to leave dog crap anywhere but there own yards. i to have had to deal with it. anyway. you read it how you want.

Where are the grammar police at tonight?

workinghard 4 years, 11 months ago

Eride was asked previously if he owned any property and had any sidewalks to shovel or if he volunteered to shovel sidewalks for elderly. He refused to answer, so I'll ask him too. Come on Eride, have you shoveled any walks? If you are so proud, let us know. And yes, I shovel three sidewalks so I'm not trying to justify not shoveling, but I'm not calling on those that don't, and yes I walk.

GardenMomma 4 years, 11 months ago

Okay, I'll bite.

there: a place to go. As in "let's go there instead of here." their: possessive. As in "it is their dog that craps on my lawn."

Another pet peeve of mine, your and you're.

your: possessive. As in "keep your dog crap off my lawn." you're: contraction of 'you' and 'are.' As in "you're supposed to pick up the dog crap and carry it around in a little baggie."

: )

workinghard 4 years, 11 months ago

Also, for the record, I would rather see the city clearing streets than snow plowing the paths that run along Clinton Parkway out to Highway 10 for the few people, if any, that might actually use them in this weather. What a waste especially knowing that it was going to snow in two days.

LadyJ 4 years, 11 months ago

I solved my dog pooper problem by letting them see me taking their picture, didn't happen again. I saw a website for a city once where you could post pictures of people letting their dogs poop who did not clean it up. It was great.

lawrencejna 4 years, 11 months ago

I guess shoveling one's sidewalk is the neighborly, socially polite thing to do... but isn't NOT calling the cops on your elderly (I'm sorry), lazy neighbors also a neighborly, socially polite thing to do? I'm especially confused as to how a person could morally justify calling the police on 25 of their neighbors. I've absolutely had some neighbors that I haven't cared for... but wow.

Eride 4 years, 11 months ago

"workinghard (Anonymous) says…

Eride was asked previously if he owned any property and had any sidewalks to shovel or if he volunteered to shovel sidewalks for elderly. He refused to answer, so I'll ask him too. Come on Eride, have you shoveled any walks? If you are so proud, let us know. And yes, I shovel three sidewalks so I'm not trying to justify not shoveling, but I'm not calling on those that don't, and yes I walk."

If you would like to jump to the assumption that my declining to respond to a personal attack automatically means said attack is true then that is your prerogative. My responding to such inane forms of argument won't accomplish as it is doubtful to change the opinion of someone who would resort to a personal attack in the first place.

Shoveling your sidewalk is your civic and lawful responsibility as a property owner. Unfortunately the city of Lawrence places it on the citizens to report the unlawful action. Believe me, I would much rather not be inconvenienced by having to call and complain about so many residences. It is sad that so many people in this town are so lazy and inconsiderate that they cannot take a few minutes to shovel a sidewalk a couple of times a year. If you think it is perfectly okay to not even shovel your sidewalk once in a 10 day period that is okay, go ahead, do that. But it is unlawful, it is inconsiderate and I will call it in.

Enjoy your tickets.

livetocook 4 years, 11 months ago

Thank you GardenMomma.

One more: to vs. too, as in "i to have had to deal with it."

livetocook 4 years, 11 months ago

Eride- Do you really feel that you were "personally attacked" by workinghard? Did I miss something?

"Inane forms of argument" Come on. Do you really feel workinghard has a meaningless argument?

He or she was simply asking you a question.

Eride 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, I think continuing to imply I am a hypocrite because I didn't answer a question asked in a thread several days ago that I didn't see instead of discussing the issue at hand would constitute an inane form of arguing.

I've answered why I am ignoring it... now I won't discuss it further. If you want to discuss the issue at hand, fine. But any further attempts to attack me personally instead of discussing the issue at hand are going to be ignored.

mandme 4 years, 11 months ago

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classclown 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm doing some major remodeling on the sidewalk in front of my house. About halfway across I'm building a trap door that will be over a huge pit.

As the whiny walkers/bicyclist/joggers smugly walk/ride/jog on the sidewalk that I will have shoveled assuming that I did it just for them in order not to face their snitchy wraith, the trap door will open plunging them into the pit never to seen or snitched on from again.

If just a few more homeowners will join me in this endeavor, eventually we will rid this town of whiny snitches and can enjoy not having to shovel our sidewalks ever again.

Kat Christian 4 years, 11 months ago

The City should get a ticket for not plowing my street. People use it as a shortcut so driving down it is a hazard - the street is narrow enough as it is, however now it is literally one car width wide to get down.

polkadottedzebra93 4 years, 11 months ago

I live on a corner right by an elementary on a busy street. I have double sidewalks to shovel, and the snow plow pushes all of the snow from the street on top of our side walk, which is then completely packed. I am a sixteen year old who lives with only a mother. Not only is it completely freezing outside, but our sidewalk is impossible to shovel. There is a three foot block of ice on top of it. We have tried salt, shovels, and a blower. If we are fined, I will not take it sitting down. Come on Lawrence, give us a freaking break. Laziness isn't the reason our sidewalk wasn't cleared "promptly"

justoneopinion 4 years, 11 months ago

Fortunately I have no sidewalks to shovel but for those that do I think that this law is not right whatsoever!

yankeevet 4 years, 11 months ago

There is so much snow piled up in front of my house; from the snow trucks; that i received a ticket as they cannot find the sidewalk in front of my house; there is only one problem; there is no sidewalk in front of my house...........whats up with that?

emptymind 4 years, 11 months ago

I live in an apt community, so this doesn't affect me but.....getting the slipshod managers to get someone out to shovel is another thing. I know I could move, but not until the lease is up. We pay our money every month and get the crappiest snow removal. Calling to complain to them falls on deaf ears. I hope someone doesn't fall and really get hurt.

LadyJ 4 years, 11 months ago

While I'm not disagreeing or agreeing with the law, Eride has shown that it has potential for abuse and can be used for revenge reasons. Maybe Eride should ask them if they need help, he might find out there is more to the story than just being lazy. How important it must make him feel, he should get himself a little vest and toy badge to wear when he is out walking.

Sheila Hooper White 4 years, 11 months ago

Do you correct people when they talk also?? I don't really care what you think of my grammar or what you say about me. Correct my grammar all you want, doesn't bother me. Don't like the way my posts read, don't read them!!

I didn't turn anyone in and I helped others shovel their walks. I and some of my neighbors have children that walk and from school and to me it's just polite to shovel the sidewalk so people can walk. Sorry for the people who can't shovel, that's not who I'm talking to . I'm talking about the ones who just chose not to do it. They don't even shovel their driveways, and these people are very much able to, just not willing to. Their yards are also the ones that don't get mowed in the summer and they have trash and debris all over their yards

Hope you all feel better about correcting me, I'm getting quite the laugh out of it.

Be safe out their people, it's very cold!! (missed used some words just for you grammar police)

Kent Shrack 4 years, 11 months ago

I was up at 4 am, and my walk is clean. My wife did it last night at 5 pm. We clear 1800 sf of walk and drive. If you spent as much time scooping as you do reading this blog and complaining, your walk would be clean too.

Sheila Hooper White 4 years, 11 months ago

I'll correct myself : walk to and from school :) (there) haha;)

Kent Shrack 4 years, 11 months ago

SnakeFist says: "I don't shovel as a matter of principle - if the city can make you shovel the sidewalk, then they can make you shovel the street. Apparently, most of you sheep will gladly jump off a cliff if the city commands it, and then call the rest of us “lazy” and “unneighborly” for not jumping along with you." WOW, what logic,,, I hope you do the same with taxes.

Christine Pennewell Davis 4 years, 11 months ago

My husband shoveled last night about 8pm not that you can tell today. He has already informed me I can not try to redo them today, health and injury issues, And I get cold when it is like 65 so not going to argue with him. Sorry about the sidewalks all but really to cold to be walking.

grimpeur 4 years, 11 months ago

Cadillac gets the cigar. Love these layabouts who come in here and claim to be so busy they have to talk on the phone while they drive or too busy to shovel.

Also, "dick on a cell phone" is redundant.

Rokchalk 4 years, 11 months ago

Two comments:

If I'm issued a ticket, I will remove the sidewalk in the spring. Anyone want the bricks?

How long before we have to mop our sidewalks after a rain?

loosecaboose 4 years, 11 months ago

I don't live in Lawrence, but I wonder if the city really wants people out in these wind chill's shoveling snow. And is walking in this wind wise? And who will pay for the heart attacks and other medical problems caused by snow shoveling? The city? These things can happen even to young healthy people.

BrianR 4 years, 11 months ago

Rokchalk, I agree, if I get a ticket, the sidewalk is history. And no, I don't care what the law says.

Zachary Stoltenberg 4 years, 11 months ago

I can't claim the “good neighbor” defense. I clean my sidewalk because I want to be a “Good Neighbor” and I cleaned my neighbor's walks for the last three storms because they were out of town. Yes, one of the benefits of being a “Good Neighbor” is, that if for some reason if I became incapable, my other “Good Neighbors” would do it for me. However... apparently I don't have “Good Neighbors.” No one else for half a block either direction has done a thing with their walks. It's because of people like this that we even have these stupid laws. Where responsibility leaves off, often, government steps in. if you don't like the law, do the one best thing you can. Take Responsibility! Scoop your walk and help out neighbors that need it. That's how it works. Right now, it definitely doesn't work.

ferrislives 4 years, 11 months ago

Did_I_say_that (Anonymous) says… So the city fines the city and the city pays the city; what lesson would be learned?

The problem is that the group fining its citizens is exempt from their own policy, and that's crap. If they want to set a standard for Lawrence citizens, then THEY should set the example. But when we all see that they can't keep their own sidewalks clear, why should we be expected to do better than that? After all, they have the staff and the resources that not all citizens have. That was my point.

ferrislives 4 years, 11 months ago

parrothead8 (Anonymous) says…

Cripes, what a bunch of whiners. Oh, boo-hoo, I have to shovel some snow off the sidewalk on my property even though I don't own it. Boo-hoo-hoo. It's so hard. I don't want to do anything for other people. The city that owns the sidewalk does things I don't like so I'm going to do things the city doesn't like. That'll teach 'em.

See my Jan 7th 9:14am post for a response. Good day.

Rokchalk 4 years, 11 months ago

...If you received a letter, can you tell us what neighborhood you live in (generally). If I was a gambler, I'd bet that most complaints come from the campus neighborhoods (Oread, OWL, etc.). There are a lot of whiners with nothing to do there.

nixon00 4 years, 11 months ago

If the city can ticket every 48 hours for not having the sidewalks clear, then can tax payers ticket the city for not having the roads clear every 48 hours. At least tax payers can say they have paid for a service that isn't being provided. Not to mention the roads are a lot more important. Are there not enough real crimes out there?

BobandAlice 4 years, 11 months ago

Here's Topeka's City Ordinance re: snow removal from sidewalks. Looks like Lawrence is more lenient:

  • It is the duty of the owner, occupant or agent of a property adjoining a public sidewalk to remove snow and ice within 12 hours after it has fallen. However, if it falls during the night, the snow and ice shall be removed not later than six hours after sunrise.

  • Where ice or compacted snow can't be removed, sand, ashes or other noncorrosive or non-ice-forming chemical is to be applied.

  • It is illegal to push or plow snow or ice that has accumulated in a public or private parking area onto any public sidewalk, public or private street or handicapped stall.

been_there 4 years, 11 months ago

MacHeath - and to think, all those people that signed up at gyms this month are paying to exercise and lift weights could go out and shovel other peoples sidewalks and I bet the property owners wouldn't charge them like the gym does. Sorry, just couldn't resist

BobandAlice 4 years, 11 months ago

MacHeath - Not sure how quoting another city's ordinance is running my mouth?

We shoveled 4 neighbors sidewalks or driveways last night for free - just to be neighborly. We were on our way to shovel the one for our elderly neighbors when someone beat us to it with their snow blower. On my way out the door now to do some more.

So, if I WAS running my mouth, I'm stopping now to run my shovel. Bye.

Aileen Dingus 4 years, 11 months ago

Is there somewhere we can go to see if we got a ticket BEFORE the mail gets here?

vinividivici 4 years, 11 months ago

I talked to my mom on the phone last night to have her take a look at this particular comment thread. (She's from Wisconsin, like me.) The only thing she found ridiculous about this article was that the city actually had to ISSUE any tickets. There's a similar ordinance up there, where the wind chills get colder and the snow gets deeper, only they just have 24 hours to shovel before being fined. The city rarely issues tickets because the residents are kind and responsible enough to keep up with their homeowner responsibilities.

LadyJ 4 years, 11 months ago

Multi- tried to catch up with you on the taxes blog. Thought you might enjoy this website http://thereifixedit.com/

Vickie Scott 4 years, 11 months ago

This is just stupid, yes lets give them tickets, its so cold even the city hasn't shovled some walks, just look at East Heights Early Ed. bldg, they shovled half way down the hill and said the rest is the citys property, well those haven't been shovled yet where's there ticket.

Christine Pennewell Davis 4 years, 11 months ago

well my feet still cold I tried to go out and do the walks and car but now I can't breath and my leg is worse than before. Yes I know dumb of me but I am trying to get to the hosp. kid and grandkids in accident.

HalsteadHawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Since less than half of the block I live on has sidewalks to begin with, no one will mind if I just tear mine out this summer, right?

LadyJ 4 years, 11 months ago

mommaeffortx2- please be careful, some of my worst near death asthma attacks were caused by cold air. No amount of medicine (I'm on them all) has any effect when it is caused by freezing cold air. Hope you can call someone to come take you.

Christine Pennewell Davis 4 years, 11 months ago

Thanks Lady I tried but just starting the car and trying to clean it made it almost impossible to breath so now I am grounded to the house my oldest son is at the hosp. so he is keeping me up to date. The good news is it looks to be not that bad but they keeping a close eye on the 3 yr old and my daughter won't let them check her out till the baby is in the clear.

Blessed4x 4 years, 11 months ago

"The tickets are for $72 total — a $20 fine and $52 in Municipal Court costs"

I say that everyone that gets a ticket should at least get their money's worth. Fight it. Go to court. Overwhelm the already overburdened court system. If you're gonna have to pay $52 in court costs, you should at least get to meet the judge!

Jaylee 4 years, 11 months ago

i would like to cite the city a ticket for consistently not "shoveling" 6th st.

6TH STREET!!!

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 11 months ago

YES GO TO court plead not guilty, IF the public schools were closed how can they expect you to clear your sidewalk when public servants are given a day off because conditions are so bad

Richard Payton 4 years, 11 months ago

Shovel those sidewalks when it's minus 1 on Friday and get frostbite for life! Can all those ticketed file a class action lawsuit on the city for unreasonable fee's? or any other reason?

Satirical 4 years, 11 months ago

As Kenan Thompson from SNL would say - "What Up With That?"

Bailey Perkins 4 years, 11 months ago

48 hours after the LAST snow --> below freezing conditions. Tell me this City of Lawrence, you actually expect people to risk their health to ensure 5 maybe 10 feet of sidewalk has been cleared. In my neighborhood alone, only two, maybe three people have cleared their sidewalk (self included)...it is annoying and dangerous to be forced to walk in the street, but it's not like we have a choice. People need to quit being so lazy and realize things can't always be so 'perfect', especially during severe weather. Or hey, if it's a problem, do it yourself...

SpeedRacer 4 years, 11 months ago

I do not have a sidewalk so I am unaffected personally by this ordinance. However, as a homeowner who has lived here for 30 years I am fed up with an idiotic form of city government for a city this size that continues to pass laws for the benefit of transient residents and those who do not contribute to the overall tax base of this city. Where I grew up, those in the county lockup were pressed into clearing sidewalks (and roads) of snow as well as many other public projects throughout the year.

SpeedRacer 4 years, 11 months ago

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billyonkey 4 years, 11 months ago

What a wonderful idea the city has come up with....to penalize those who don't take responsiblity for public safety. So, as a recipricol effort, why don't we fine the city for every city street that remains unplowed? It's been a day and a half since the snow began, and I'm still staring at a street untouched by a city snow removal vehicle. Look in the mirror, City Commissioners and learn to lead by example.

parrothead8 4 years, 11 months ago

livetocook (Anonymous) says… Parrothead8- Have you made an attempt to remove or treat the ice on your sidewalk?

Um, yes. Why do you ask? I cleared my sidewalk within 48 hours of every single snowfall we've had since Christmas Day. When there was ice I couldn't remove, I sprinkled stuff on it and it melted.

I don't need to read a city ordinance to know it's neighborly to shovel my sidewalk, and the old lady's sidewalk next door to me.

Eride 4 years, 11 months ago

Considering that shoveling your sidewalk is an activity that every other community in this nation does without being pestered to do it I am sure it will make people look like nitwits... the people too lazy to shovel a sidewalk in a 10 day period that is...

Kathy Getto 4 years, 11 months ago

It's a city ordinance for pete's sake. The city didn't make it up just for this snowstorm. There are numerous ordinances that protect Lawrence residents. Would you prefer all ordinances be ignored simply because it may be an inconvenience to some? Let's see, which ones to ignore:

Cruelty to animals? The dumping of manure? Criminal trespass? Speeding?

cozy 4 years, 11 months ago

Mine wasnt done after the initial snowfall. Why? Well, when I went to buy a snow shovel, everywhere was either sold out or closed early. Then I was snowed in my driveway for 3 fricking days because the city thinks its a good idea to plow the snow on the side of the street that has more driveways and the sidewalk instead of the obviously smarter choice of the other side.

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