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Archive for Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dozens of Lawrence property owners have already received tickets for not shoveling sidewalks

January 19, 2011

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How to report it

To report an unshoveled sidewalk, call 832-7700 or report it online at http://www.lawrenceks.org/pds/code_violation.

A total of 71 Lawrence property owners thus far have learned the hard way that the city is serious about having public sidewalks cleared of snow.

Brian Jimenez, the city’s code enforcement manager, confirmed Wednesday that his office had issued 71 tickets to property owners who had failed to have their sidewalk cleared within 48 hours following last week’s snowstorm. The city has received 163 complaints, and staff members are continuing to inspect properties.

“The warmup on Monday took care of a lot of the complaints, but we’re still obligated to take a look,” Jimenez said of his staff of three inspectors. “You never know if a property will thaw and then refreeze. Unfortunately, that is what has been happening quite a bit. That is why it is so important to get the snow off early.”

Jimenez said he thinks Lawrence residents are starting to understand the importance of complying with the code. Last year the city issued more than 200 tickets and had more than 700 complaints throughout the winter.

“When we got this snowstorm, I was saying anything under 200 complaints would be surprising,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez said he believes he’s seen more shoveled sidewalks this year than he has in the past. But he said it would be unrealistic for complaint numbers to ever dwindle to just a few.

“I don’t know that anything is ever going to translate into a lot fewer complaints because there are just miles and miles of sidewalks in town,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez is guessing that many people who received tickets last year complied with the ordinance this year. But he said there are a lot of out-of-town property owners who may not be fully aware of the ordinance.

It is likely that several of them soon will get a lesson on the ordinance in their mailboxes. The $20 ticket — plus court costs — go to the property owner, not the tenant.

Comments

independant1 3 years, 2 months ago

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil... paine

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Chelsea Kapfer 3 years, 2 months ago

This is copied from my facebook status from earlier today;

my favorite part of shoveling the driveway are those uneven pavement lines that you can't see...and skid into dislocating most of your hip bone which is connected to the swear out loud bone which is connected to the wine bone...which is connected to the I give up bone.....

I got it 4/5 done, but gave up after practically impaling myself with the showshovel handle. Can't wait for more snow tomorrow and Sunday! Yay!

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Kat Christian 3 years, 2 months ago

Well don't have to worry about shoveling sidewalks on my street cause we don't have any and they NEVER plow our street, which is find with me that way I don't have to shovel out the snow that blocks my driveway after they plow.

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fancy80 3 years, 2 months ago

well, my son spent a good couple of hours shoveling the sidewalk today, only to have the city crews cover it up with snow from the streets. I hate to make him do it again. I know the city says if you shovel it and they cover it up, you won't get ticketed, but where are the people and dogs supposed to walk? Oh the horror!!! And some well-meaning person will probably turn us in...just like they do when the dog barks. City living...gotta love it.

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poppet 3 years, 2 months ago

i agree wholeheartely w/meatwad...and yes, sad but true :(

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Scott Morgan 3 years, 2 months ago

So classclown we can go ahead with our walk-by, no running, comfortably planning at say 8:O3?

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classclown 3 years, 2 months ago

I am announcing that my sidewalk has been treated with sand. People walking and jogging on the sidewalk will cause the sand to mix with the snow breaking it up so that their footwear will be able to sink through in order to gain a foothold on the concrete.

Currently the plans for shoveling are being done on a priority basis in order to facilitate for commerce. Namely my driveway will be shoveled first so I can be able to drive to my job. I expect to have the sidewalk shoveled by 7:59 am Saturday morning.

Everyone is being urged to avoid walking or jogging, but if it's absolutely necessary,then to walk/run with extreme caution. In fact, running should be avoided. If you must travel along my sidewalk, allow yourself plenty of extra time to get where you're going.

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autie 3 years, 2 months ago

I don't know about Larrytown but in my town the sidewalks generally are on the easement and ordinance states that any maintenance is 50/50 if the owner wants to improve them. Your snow removal ordinance is really not much different than any other environmental code that requires one to keep property mowed or in acceptable state of repair. So ding dong's constitutional issues are just a bunch of marlarkey. There is no right to keep unmowed overgrown property or to keep condemned houses...ergo shovel your walks.

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Gandalf 3 years, 2 months ago

I liked the aticle in the paper a while back. City workers cannot fix watr main break because it's too cold. It took them a week and it wasn't as cold as it is now.

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ohmylawrence 3 years, 2 months ago

My father laughs at this so called ordinance. He wanted the sity to fix the sidewalk or let him remove it because its an eyesore. The city told him it was not his sidewalk but theirs and that he was not allowed to do anything with it. Well if hes not allowed to do anything with it than hes not cleaning the snow off of it. If its the citys property then let them clean it!

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irvan moore 3 years, 2 months ago

it's freaking snow, not nuclear waste, i clear mine because i hate looking at it and its being a courteous neighbor. i think they need to have a snow route law and get the cars off Tennessee and Kentucky when it snows so the streets can be plowed, seems like a lot more of a safety issue with cars than pedestrians. i went to the library (after clearing mine and a few other walks) and it was closed because of the weather. hey flanders, it's a few inches of snow, suck it up and go to work.

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Kontum1972 3 years, 2 months ago

i shovel the walk and my drive-way and your plow came by and covered what i clean edback up

you owe me 1,000.00..my fine is included with my labor cost

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25 3 years, 2 months ago

Wonderful that the city takes over two days to plow the streets, but they expect sidewalks to be shoveled. My sidewalks are done. Maybe I can drive somewhere on Saturday, when the city gets their job done.

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Meatwad 3 years, 2 months ago

I think the fact that we had to make a law, shows what is wrong with our society and proves that people won't behave in a way that is kind to their fellow man, unless they have to. Very sad.

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Meatwad 3 years, 2 months ago

Trying to walk on an unshoveled sidewalk is horrible, slows you down immensely and is dangerous. I have even taken a bad fall during a snowstorm. I would shovel my sidewalk whether or not there was a law because that's the kind of person I am. I care about other people and their safety. If one of my neighbors was unable to shovel theirs, I would do it, or help them find someone to do it. People who complain about this law either totally selfish, or just unresourceful. My sidewalk is shoveled and so are my neighbors and I'm proud of it.

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gccs14r 3 years, 2 months ago

I've felt compelled to shovel the walks in front of every apartment I've ever lived in because the apartment management either wouldn't do it or waited so long to do it that everything became icy.

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Scott Morgan 3 years, 2 months ago

This is for all of us who take the stinging lazy comments now going on two years.

I'd give everything I have to be able to shovel snow again. Which would mean I could ski, job, bike and all the other things I loved as a youth.

Some of us can not shovel a driveway because of physical reasons. Most of us are not sitting around and have busy schedules. Ever try scheduling a driveway plowing. Makes the cable guy look punctual.

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pfunk81 3 years, 2 months ago

I'm not suprised at the amount of jerks here who obviously have never tried to walk anywhere after 7 inches of snow fall on the ground. Of course going outside to shovel snow takes away their time to complain on LJW, since most of you don't have jobs anyway go out and earn a couple of bucks for once.

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naturenut 3 years, 2 months ago

It is just another desperate way for the city to attempt to make money on property owners, when often the city itself has not cleared snow off of the roads in that same 48 hour window.

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lilygrace 3 years, 2 months ago

My daughter and granddaughter walked over to the Lawrence Aquatic Center the other day and the CITY OF LAWRENCE had not cleaned the intersection sidewalks from the last snow so they had to detour into the street just to get to a sidewalk that was clear. The CITY OF LAWRENCE doesn't even meet the requirements of their own ordinance. I guess the CITY OF LAWRENCE is too busy shoveling other things at city hall to tend to the public use sidewalks owned by them.

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txksmom 3 years, 2 months ago

I just wish owners like Mike Garber of Garber Enterprises gave a hoot about the people that rent his properties. 7 inches of snow and our street has not been cleared once. Cars littered the street last night because they were unable to make it into their driveways. The office doesn't care about us. I don't know what to do but to vent here. Thank you.

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Randall Barnes 3 years, 2 months ago

when my sidewalk is a sheet of ice i toss some loose snow on it so people walking will have some sort of traction. what do you want ice or snow ?

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gccs14r 3 years, 2 months ago

Just got back in from shoveling again. Did it right after work before it got too deep, now this pass, then I'll make another one sometime tomorrow. Now that the snow is tapering off, I did my side of the street, too, so there's not as much snow for the plow to push up in front of my driveway.

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Kylee Manahan 3 years, 2 months ago

So can I give the city a ticket for shoveling the snow on the sidewalk on Iowa between Terrace Road and 15th street? I walked to the BB game Saturday and nearly broke my neck. The church on the corner had shoveled their part, but not the city. Hello?????????????

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Frightwig 3 years, 2 months ago

Check this out. There are many people willing to shovel your walk. Some as cheap as $10. Do the right thing and create a safe passageway for your pedestrian neighbors. http://lawrence.craigslist.org/lbs/

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Ladybug2 3 years, 2 months ago

My 70 year old husband and I get out and clear our very long sidewalk but the rest of the sidewalk is on city property and has never been cleared this year or last. It's a bit frustrating that they threaten us with a fine but don't do their own walks. Then once we do get our sidewalk clear the city trucks throw snow and ice back on them covering them up.

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LadyJ 3 years, 2 months ago

Bright side, even if it stopped snowing now, the 48 hrs would be after 5 on Friday so people can't turn others until Monday morning. Although the longer you wait, the harder it is to shovel. Also it is easier if nobody has walked on it so could my everyone wait till after about 2 pm tomorrow please before walking on my sidewalk, please?

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poorteacher 3 years, 2 months ago

Well I do not mind helping with shoveling however it pisses me off that there is an ordinance in this town that fines people who do not clear the sidewalks when the city can't even put sidewalks on every street. Is this town so damn broke they can't afford sidewalks except on the west side of town. Heck you can't even walk all the way down Kasold without having to cross the highly traveled 4 lane street because the sidewalks end. Lawrence acts so big but they cannot even afford sidewalks!!!! YIKES!

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Liberal 3 years, 2 months ago

I know folks who have vacant land in undeveloped areas that got fined for not having sidewalks shoveled. There is no reason to have the sidewalks in these areas, until development takes place, yet the city makes you put it in anyway. Many times people shovel their walks and then the city plows them over again at which point the salt mixed in turns the whole thing to ice. The city should take care of this or say that you do not have to shovel until the roads are completely clear. Now on the other hand if people are negligent and are not shoveling lets say Bob Billings where people clearly walk than fine them.

The whole thing is BS and is just a way for the city to generate revenue. I feel sorry for Brian Jimenez the city's tax collector. I am not sure how he sleeps at night. The people who are reporting on people just for fun, will get it in the end. Karma is a Bi7ch.

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independant1 3 years, 2 months ago

Sure glad I don't have a sidewalk. The driveway, drive over the snow to pack it down spread a little sand on top for traction and let the sun do the rest. The sand absorbs the rays and melts the snow. when the melt refreezes there's enough sand in the ice to give adequate traction. One can always throw a little kitty litter down too, the right kitty litter is some of the best instant traction I've ever found.

That leaves plenty of time to go get donuts.

Thanks for the tip Roe!

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black_butterfly 3 years, 2 months ago

I agree with Vinny. Stop complaining and just get out there and shovel your sidewalks. I AM overweight and me and my children got out there and shoveled the sidewalk!!! LOL It was actually fun. Put on your gloves, hat, scarf and coat and SHOVEL YOUR SIDEWALK!! I am not a home owner. I lease my house so technically my landlady should send someone to shovel my sidewalks, but it just isn't that big of a deal. JUST DO IT!!!

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gccs14r 3 years, 2 months ago

Oh, and just because the sun has gone down doesn't mean it's too dark to shovel a walk. You don't need that much light to see a shovel, and with a snowy landscape, there's enough reflected light to see what you're doing, anyway.

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gccs14r 3 years, 2 months ago

It's common decency to shovel the walk. Since too many folks aren't decent, the City has to coerce them with negative reinforcement to get them to do the right thing. As for why the City doesn't shovel the walks, it's too expensive to hire enough crews to clear every mile of sidewalk in a reasonable amount of time. The tax bill for that service would be enormous and then you people would be complaining about that. Get out and shovel, and shovel the neighbors if they can't do it.

I used to live on 11th and would shovel about 190' of sidewalk because the neighbors on either side wouldn't do it. Not doing it made life very difficult for all the pedestrians who routinely use that sidewalk to get to downtown.

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candaceflynn 3 years, 2 months ago

After the last snow, my retired neighbor was out and shoveled his driveway, the elderly man across the street's driveway and sidewalk and then saw me out shoveling and offered his assistance clearing my large driveway. What a great neighbor.

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irvan moore 3 years, 2 months ago

a part of the problem is that the lazy student doesn't get the ticket, the property owner does.

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pz5g1 3 years, 2 months ago

No sympathy here for the beer-swilling college students who can't get off their duff and shovel their walk.

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Michael Rowland 3 years, 2 months ago

Why is it so friggin hard for people to work for the good of others? Have you tried walking several miles in unshoveled, snowy sidewalks? It SUCKS. I've seen properties that shoveled the walkway from the sidewalk to their door, but not the sidewalk.

Hey, high schoolers, here's a business idea for you. Offer to shovel people's sidewalks for $15. That way they save $5.

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sherbert 3 years, 2 months ago

They should publish the addresses that were fined so we can see if they're playing fair. I can't see fining a low income person $25 when that's probably their food or gas money. What if it snows overnight and they have to work first thing in the morning. Then it's dark and cold when they get home. Can't always get to it right away and can't always afford to pay someone else to do it. The snow will melt in a couple days anyway. I think it should be equal across town if they do fine, but I bet it's not.

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macon47 3 years, 2 months ago

i would love to know how many of the city owned side walks that have not be shoveled are reported, and who pays the fine???

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 2 months ago

I'll come shovel your walk for $50 per hour, $20 minimum. PM me.

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CloveK 3 years, 2 months ago

Well we know where at least a handful of those complaints came from....

Sidewalks should be shoveled though. I would be less irritated with this ordinance if the city did a better job of getting the roads cleared. They should offer a side walk clearing service to people who can't get it done in time. They still get some money and people have a chance to do the right thing.

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irvan moore 3 years, 2 months ago

i keep the walks and drive shoveled, don't mind but think having neighbor rat out neighbor is mean spirited. i also wonder how many of those complaining about others not clearing their walks have walks they have to clear.

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Clark Coan 3 years, 2 months ago

The City needs to be proactive and send inspectors downtown 48 hours after the snow ends. Too many business owners do not clear the sidewalks in front of their stores.

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creamygnome 3 years, 2 months ago

I agree that homeowners should shovel their sidewalks but I often see city sidewalks not cleared. I feel I shouldn't have to clear mine until those are clear. Unless it's not the city's job to clear in front of the court house? Or, I shouldn't have to clear my sidewalk until the road in front of my house is cleared. Which, is usually when it finally melts.

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ralphralph 3 years, 2 months ago

We have three neighbors who can't shovel their own walks, so we do it for them. Once you are "geared-up" with shovels-n-hats-n-gloves-n-boots-n-etc, it's not that much more trouble to keep going on down the sidewalk. One of the neighbors has never acknowledged that we shovel their walk, one kind of keeps an eye on our house when we're gone (a lot) and calls us if we leave the car lights on or something (yes, we have cars that old, not auto-off), and one slips our dog treats and sends him home when he runs off (a lot).

If you have a house, it's your job to shovel the sidewalk. If you can't do it, you have to hire somebody else. It's not much different than, say, trimming a big tree --- you can't let a tree limb fall on your neighbor or the street, so if you don't have your own bucket truck and chainsaw, you have to hire somebody else to do it. It's not that complicated.

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RoeDapple 3 years, 2 months ago

No time for shoveling snow! I'm makin' a donut run!!

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rockchalk1977 3 years, 2 months ago

If you wait long enough Obama and the dems will create a federal program to assist you. There are millions of people who can't afford snow shoveling insurance. It's just not fair the poor are disproportionately impacted by this problem. Let's tax the productive rich so everyone else can sit on the sofa. Nancy / Harry... where are you when we really need you.

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gccs14r 3 years, 2 months ago

I wish I had a sidewalk to shovel. I want a brick sidewalk, though, and the City says I can't use brick in my neighborhood.

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macon47 3 years, 2 months ago

parents have thier fat kids sitting inside and the kids are too busy playing to shovel snow while the city and mrs obama want to spend money to teach folks how to lose weight what is wrong with that picture?? n

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Vinny1 3 years, 2 months ago

Some of you are a bunch of freaking pansies. Go outside and shovel a little bit. Its good for you and its easy. No wonder the US has so many overweight, lazy complete waste of space people.

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

Wonder if our ordinance catches landlords who may feel that the cost of the fine is less than the cost of paying somebody to do the work. Bet they even write it off as a cost of doing business.

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sunflower97 3 years, 2 months ago

Does anyone know the ballpark cost for someone to clear your driveway?

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pooter 3 years, 2 months ago

Get a ticket, challenge the law.

You can start with the fact that the law is blatantly unconstitutional, by violating the 13th amendment, and it also vioates U.S. Code law.

Amendment XIII

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

18 U.S.C. § 1581. Peonage

Section 1581 prohibits using force, the threat of force, or the threat of legal coercion to compel a person to work against his/her will.

This law also violates The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000.

So City of Lawrence, shovel your own sidewalks.

*

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CorkyHundley 3 years, 2 months ago

The government can't take your money if there is an inch or two of ice on the sidewalk. I know the difference between ice and snow. There was a little snow on the ice so I swept it off like a good inmate.

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nlf78 3 years, 2 months ago

So if you are a homeowner who is out of town during the snow, you will still get ticketed? That's awful, people leave on vacations and come back to complaints and tickets. All because they were not in Lawrence within 48 hours of the snow...

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 2 months ago

Why must government always try to legislate responsibility?

Because of the damn goat fornicators.

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Resident10 3 years, 2 months ago

So I work in Topeka and my shifts start at 6am and end after 9pm. (Don't worry about me...its only until Saturday) That shovel scraping the concrete is sure lound no matter how hard I try to keep it quiet. Can I have a number to fwd angry calls from my neighbors on to the city's compliance people? Or will they be in bed at that time too?

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

Smile when you pay your new snow tax, citizens.

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Judgesmails 3 years, 2 months ago

"The city has received 163 complaints"...................from losers who have nothing better to do than call the cops about snow on sidewalks.

gimme a break

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jhawkfan05 3 years, 2 months ago

Let me quote from this article: A total of 71 Lawrence property owners thus far have learned the hard way that the city is serious about having public sidewalks cleared of snow THE KEY WORD HERE IS PUBLIC This should be up to the city to clear these sidewalks not the homeowners as those were put there by the city not the homeowner. So looks like the city should get some people on board to do the sidewalk cleaning..I am sorry there are alot of elderly people in this city that can not get out on clean the sidewalks...and if they cant then the city is going to give these poor people a ticket...Come on get real it is the CITY's job to clean their own SIDEWALKS not the homeowners..!!!!

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GUMnNUTS 3 years, 2 months ago

Don't be a Doug and Wendy Whiner, just go outside for twenty minutes and shovel.

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Bob Forer 3 years, 2 months ago

I was at McDonald's a few days ago and overhead a conversation among three people who appeared to be in their early twenties laughing about how they were going around to all the "bourgeois" neighborhoods and compiling a list of addresses that were in violation of the snow shoveling ordinance to turn into the city. One described it as a way of "playing Robin Hood against the unfair and regressive sales tax which hurts poor folks."

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Kent Fisher 3 years, 2 months ago

I can understand isolated situations where a private homeowner is unable to shovel their sidewalks, however, there is no excuse for commercial or municipal property to not comply. I even saw city owned property that wasn't cleared.

If the city snow plow crews block a sidewalk, are they responsible for removing the blockage?

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prospector 3 years, 2 months ago

Comrades, prepare again to toil for the Motherland.

Central Committee

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