Archive for Friday, January 21, 2011

City’s overtime concerns to affect Lawrence snow shoveling ordinance

A videographer's walk through downtown Lawrence Wednesday afternoon captured the sights and scenes of people in a winter snow storm.

January 21, 2011


There may be one thing City Hall leaders hate worse than covered city sidewalks: overtime.

Under the city’s snow shoveling ordinance, sidewalks covered by Wednesday’s snow storm need to be cleared by 8 a.m. Saturday. But city officials confirmed Thursday that city inspectors won’t be out investigating complaints until 8 a.m. Monday.

City leaders, though, are encouraging residents to shovel this weekend anyway to aid pedestrians who need to use the sidewalks. Residents can submit complaints about unshoveled sidewalks during the weekend, even though inspectors won’t be out. The city’s phone system accepts complaints at 832-7700 or complaints can be made online at

Mother Nature may make the weekend question moot. The ordinance gives property owners 48 hours after the end of a snowfall or ice event to clear their sidewalks. So, if it snows before 8 a.m. on Saturday, residents would be given another 48 hours to comply anyway. But one note of warning: The city interprets the ordinance to mean a measurable snowfall.

“The city does not consider flurries accumulating snowfall,” said Brian Jimenez, the city’s code enforcement manager.

As of Thursday evening, the National Weather Service was predicting a 30 percent chance of light snow this afternoon, and then a 50 percent chance of light snow Saturday night through Sunday.


Maddy Griffin 7 years, 3 months ago

I got the driveway and the sidewalks done yesterday. Then the city finally makes it down our street and I'm back out clearing the driveway so we can get out this morning. Thanks!

Tonie Barnett Bruns 7 years, 3 months ago

Where else is the snow going to go grammaddy? It has to be off the streets for the safety of all drivers.

Henry_the_liberal 7 years, 3 months ago

I actually am with grammaddy here. She is not upset about having to clear her driveway after the plow comes through, the problem is the plows wait so long to actually put those plows on the ground that now she has to go out and shovel AGAIN!

Scott Kaiser 7 years, 3 months ago

Quote: "But one note of warning: The city interprets the ordinance to mean a measurable snowfall."

This will cause problems: What is the definition of "measureable: snowfall?" By whose definition? Doesn't the amount accumulated usually differ throughout the city?

Charles McPheeters 7 years, 3 months ago

I surely hope the officials are not fining the owner who is disabled or has medical issues that do not allow him or her to scoop sidewalks and some probably can not afford to pay someone. Before you fine someone check to see if there is a legimate reason for the sidwalk not being cleared.

hujiko 7 years, 3 months ago

The city has organized a list of elderly or disabled citizens and has volunteers assume responsibility over their sidewalks.

George Lippencott 7 years, 3 months ago

Wrong. The owner is still responsible and the program is voluntary

Thinking_Out_Loud 7 years, 3 months ago

I think hujiko's point was that there are resources, not that the owner's responsibilities are mitigated.

George Lippencott 7 years, 2 months ago

Hi TOL. I am spring loaded to the reality that our law is simplisitc. It has no proivisions to deal with severe climate conditions or to deal with sick and disabled people. To conceal that fact our law givers have invented a voluntary program to "help" the latter but hide from the fact that there are not enough volunteers (at times) and that the property owner still has to meet the deadline even if nobody comes to their aid.

troll 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm pretty sure that morbid obesity is considered a disability.

evilpenguin 7 years, 3 months ago

You could try emailing someone from this site:

It says senior services but they also say the snow shoveling is available for those with disabilities.

It might not help, but I'm sure they could point you in the right direction!

xclusive85 7 years, 3 months ago

Here is the link for the Safe Winter Walkways program run through the city.

Kontum1972 7 years, 3 months ago

yeah i cleaned my drive and side walks off...then the plow comes by and pushes that crap back on my know it there is a big median in the middle of the street...thats where u should pile the snow..pile to the center Dum A...push it in that direction. I had my drive cleaned off and when i got home it was blocked again so i had to clean it off so i could park my vehicle in my driveway. U all get a big fat "F" ..thx alot..its a good thing i wasnt home when u did that, i probably be in jail now.

irvan moore 7 years, 3 months ago

we sure had a whole bunch of trucks and people on Mass street between 6th and 11th yesterday morning clearing out the snow. why is it a priority and why does the city clean sidewalks downtown for privately owned commercial property?

BruceWayne 7 years, 3 months ago

Amyx Barber Shop 842 1/2 Massachusetts St, Lawrence, KS 66044

nobody1793 7 years, 3 months ago

I hope they introduce an ordinance that you have to towel-dry your sidewalks within 3 hours of a rainstorm. Nothing makes me madder than having the bottom of my shoes be slightly damp.

Tonie Barnett Bruns 7 years, 3 months ago

Thank you! Of all the posts on here, yours is the only one that makes

mr_right_wing 7 years, 3 months ago

This is your civic duty and responsibility as a property owner. (AND landlord!!)

You don't like it; go rent somewhere where the problem will be taken care of for you.

Tax paying pedestrians deserve the convenience and safety of cleared sidewalks. I don't know if this is the case or not, and it should be; if someone is in any way injured on your property because of unshoveled sidewalk, you should be libel for any medical bills.

Get out and take care of it, it's no less work than sitting here chronically whining, moaning and bellyaching. Living in society has it's costs.

George Lippencott 7 years, 3 months ago

Just where are these lists of civic duties? Do renters have civic duties? Tax paying citizens should not be forced to clean public sidewalks unless everybody has to do it.

How about we add a flat sidewalk tax to everybod y we can reach for maintenance and repair (to include shovelling). For those who shovel the adjacent city walks they gat a rebate.

Thinking_Out_Loud 7 years, 2 months ago

Really, George? Paying taxes excuses one from responsibility?

mr_right_wing 7 years, 2 months ago

The good news George is that this one in particular is written out for you and others on Riviera Ct

A very brief example of others would be; voting, jury duty, reporting crimes, rendering aid when needed, maintaining your property so it doesn't become a visual nuisance or safety hazard, paying taxes (including 'property') putting your trash at the curb if you use city sanitation service, maintaining trees and shrubs on your property (especially if they become a safety issue)... Do you really need to be spoon fed these? You can also check out city & county ordinances, then state and federal laws which specifically address land ownership. Being aware of these responsibilities is your civic duty as well didn't realize that?

'Renters' have other specific rights and responsibilities; you can look into city rental codes, search 'responsibilities of renters'

BrianR 7 years, 3 months ago

Dog crap is easier to get rid of in the winter. I recommend a 5 iron.

pagan_idolator 7 years, 3 months ago

The mental picture of that made me spew coffee. Funny.

ModSquadGal 7 years, 3 months ago

You know, I really don't get this "law." It's about the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Why do we need sidewalk Nazis? Is this really worth having "inspectors" and fines?

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 3 months ago

We need this law because people are no longer courteous neighbors. There was a time when people would keep their sidewalks cleared simply because it was the right thing to do and they didn't want to see pedestrians get hurt. Ordinances must now be created to prompt people to shovel their sidewalks. The complaints on this message list are proof that many people aren't likely to use common sense and shovel the sidewalk unless they face a fine. The complainers justify the need for a sidewalk ordinance. Sad, isn't it?

tomatogrower 7 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, that you weren't alive, but in the 60's and 70's people were far more courteous. They worried about their neighbors well being. Now we have too many people that are "me, me, me". I'm sorry you have never experienced a community. My neighborhood is still very friendly, but I've lived in many that aren't.

kansanbygrace 7 years, 3 months ago

Yep. When I came here in the late '60's, a bunch of us who lived in the same dorm shoveled, pushed cars, thought it was fun, or at least a break from the books.
'70's in Lawrence, too. It wasn't until maybe 82 or 83 that I noticed the curling lips and "don't expect ME to help" entered the menu.

Our community acts, I'm afraid, more selfish and immature, overall.

Really, if a person can't pull on their overshoes and walk through a few inches of snow, I question why they shouldn't just move to the sun belt. The whiners would die anywhere north of here.

tomatogrower 7 years, 3 months ago

On Channel 9 news the other night, they suggested shoveling about 10 feet to the left (when you're facing the street) of your drive. Then when the plow comes through they will deposit some in that 10 feet, but be clear when they get to your drive. You still have to shovel a lot, but only 1 time.

sr80 7 years, 3 months ago

i saw a city inspector using a half day/full pay trash assoc. see pc! to clean off his sidewalk with a city issued snow shovel on friday. this is just the way it is.they have the cards.bombs away!!!!

sr80 7 years, 3 months ago

till i read my comments i thought i was reasonably i know otherwise.let the sun shine.

Rustycleats 7 years, 3 months ago

For Sale - One Concrete Sidewalk South Side Of Property. Taking bids here.

satie 7 years, 3 months ago

Whatever morons voted in this snow removal ordinance can come and shovel the crap off the sidewalk any time they like. It's the city's sidewalk, not mine, and my tax dollars don't pay for squat when it comes to keeping it repaired. I'm beginning to wonder what my taxes DO pay for. The streets in my neighborhood and the entire town look like a slum area with black tar dribbled on the cracks being cheaper than proper replacement of the concrete. That's the way it used to be done before the morons voted in their biggest pink elephant of all, the great "T" system that nobody utilizes. Try counting the number of riders on any bus on any given day. It is disgusting to waste our hard earned money that way. I see the KU buses all over town with more riders.

My husband is ill and I'm not shoveling snow because the jerks at our one horse city hall say to. They vote in some useless, money gobbling venture and stick us with another tax to cover it, not to mention their lazy asses. Frankly, anyone who is out pleasure walking in this weather is asking for a busted ankle and that's their responsibility not mine. And I have never seen children walking to school through snow since we've lived in this neighborhood. I do see them sliding down hills and slamming into trees every now and then. I guess nobody has figured out a way for the rest of us to pay for that, yet. Oh, wait... why not just cut down all the trees? If I only knew who the lousy rats are that sink low enough to report their neighbors, who may or may not be able to afford 75 damned dollars in this crappy economy...... oh goodness gracious! What did she just say? Gracious! My! Heavens to Betsy! Call city hall!

Cuckoo... that's real good description of you. You like shoveling snow for a little gold star and a receipt for 75 bucks from the parasites at city hall? Well, goody good gumdrop. Here's a tip for you... the ratters won't be around until Monday to catch all the non-shovelers of this last snowfall? So, please call 1-800- WAA-AHHH!!

Henry_the_liberal 7 years, 3 months ago

I think you need to get outside and shovel. It's not the shoveling part I think you need, but please get out and get some fresh air... You'll feel better.

Frightwig 7 years, 3 months ago

Please call your doctor and have him adjust your medication.

pace 7 years, 3 months ago

I agree, I see no emergency to ticket people on Saturday, Overtime should be reserved for emergencies. I wont those guys and gals to keep an eye out for every dime.

deskboy04 7 years, 2 months ago

The snow ordinance makes Lawrence look silly.

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 2 months ago

I am confused. It sounds to me that the city workers that would have to check the ordinance are hourly employees. Right? Maybe make them salaries employees and give them more work and then you do not have to worry about overtime.

Problem solved. I will send a bill to the city for $250K for the study.

pace 7 years, 2 months ago

mmm, sounds cool. lets do that with all jobs. We could dodge fair labor laws and make virtual slaves of anyone who wants a job. cool. We could make all jobs self contracting and really do away with it. We will call it privatization. Then we would not have to worry about safe work practices or follow any labor laws. We could really cheat people. I can see it. Make it wide open, Not assign a particular job to people, make them bid for a job. It would cut out that messy business of people looking for a job. If they can't bid for it or slip a little into the overseerers pocket, no work. In the food industry or toys we wouldn't have to follow any standard, say we aren't responsible, it was the contractors fault.

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