Archive for Wednesday, January 2, 2013

City to begin enforcing ordinance requiring sidewalks to be cleared of snow at 8 a.m. Thursday

January 2, 2013, 1:32 p.m. Updated January 2, 2013, 3:42 p.m.


By 8 a.m. Thursday, Lawrence property owners need to have their sidewalks cleared of snow or run the risk of a city fine.

The city’s snow removal ordinance gives property owners 48 hours following the end of a snowfall to clear the public sidewalks that run through their properties.

Brian Jimenez, the city’s code enforcement manager, said his office will begin accepting complaints about uncleared sidewalks at 8 a.m. on Thursday.

“There are probably hundreds of properties across the city that fall into the category of noncompliant,” Jimenez said.

The city, however, does not patrol the city looking for properties that are out of compliance with the ordinance. Jimenez’s inspectors respond to complaints. But he said inspectors are instructed to look at adjacent properties when they are out responding to complaints.

If found in violation, property owners — not tenants — are sent a notice of violation through the mail. Property owners have the opportunity to contest the violation in Lawrence Municipal Court. The standard fine for violating the ordinance is $20, plus $60 in court costs.

The ordinance generally requires property owners to clear the sidewalk of snow and ice so that it is passable for pedestrians. If ice is difficult to remove, the ordinance does allow for sand to be spread over the ice.

People who want to file a complaint about a sidewalk can call 832-7700 after 8 a.m. Thursday or by using the city’s online code enforcement reporting system.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 4 months ago

Yea.... Clean you sidewalk so dog walkers have a place for their dogs to crap in your yard.

The runners use the streets whether the sidewalks are cleaned off or not.

neverwrong 5 years, 4 months ago

This is exactly how I feel. What makes it even better is when the dog and owner leave 6 tracks that turn to ice making the job more difficult.

elliottaw 5 years, 4 months ago

clean them when it snows then, don't get mad because not everyone is sitting in there house over 2 inches of snow

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

Not everybody is standing by waiting for the moment the snow fall ends to shovel their walks. Jobs, other responsibilities, etc.

However, i would suggest that if anyone has a neighbor whom they don't get along with, that they shovel their walks as soon as possible.

riverdrifter 5 years, 4 months ago

All you EVER do is complain. I presume you like it.

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 4 months ago

Maybe Lawrence will start fining the dogs whenever they have the urge to go. They should make a lot of revenue.

John Hamm 5 years, 4 months ago

And those who use them to get to bus stops don't fall and sue your a$$!

rlmtyco 5 years, 4 months ago

Love it, considering the post office downtown has snow all over there sidewalk, looks like they made 0% effort to remove it.

Clara Westphal 5 years, 4 months ago

The city might clean the sidewalks that belong to them. They are the worst offenders.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes! Then the city can hire more enforcement officers that will fine the city, more collection officers to receive payments from the city, more workers to write the checks from the city to the city, etc. And how will pay for all these extra workers? Of course, raise the fines for individuals who don't clean their sidewalks. Pretty soon, there will be no workers left to work in private industry. We'll all be working for the city, cleaning sidewalks.

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

It's especially dumb to enforce this when most don't bother to scrape off the ice, and therefore the unshoveled powder provides better traction than the icy layers underneath. But then of course they're not worried about reducing the actual number of slips, just reducing their liability even when such practices are counterproductive.

elliottaw 5 years, 4 months ago

actually if someone falls on an icy sidewalk in front of your house, it would be you that would be getting sued, it is your responsibility to keep it clean and free of ice. Kansas gets such little snow it is not a hard job

MarcoPogo 5 years, 4 months ago

Is that your New Year's resolution? We're gonna miss you around here.

elliottaw 5 years, 4 months ago

what is sad is that people are to lazy to clear their sidewalks, it is 2 inches of snow, if there is ice throw down some salt, its like $5 a bag and will last pretty much a whole winter in Kansas. If I can assure that my, and my 2 neighbors driveways are clear you can make sure your sidewalk is.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 4 months ago

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

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

If I am walking outside after a snow and see an sidewalk with packed snow, and/or ice, I simply take a little precaution and either walk on the snow covered grass next to the sidewalk, and on streets that are not well traveled, on the side of the roadway.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

"If ice is difficult to remove, the ordinance does allow for sand to be spread over the ice."

An icy sidewalk sprinkled with sand is still dangerous for pedestrians. If the purpose of the ordinance is to make the sidewalks safe for passage, then why don't they require melting salt instead of sand?.

Patriot2 5 years, 4 months ago

If the city wants the sidewalks cleared and salt and sand spread, I feel they should provide the salt and sand. As for $5 for a bag of salt that lasts an entire season? Evidently you've never had to clear or salt a sidewalk to pass city code!

elliottaw 5 years, 4 months ago

I am from the east coast where we don't flinch at a foot of snow yet alone the 2-3 inches you get here during a "storm", and it is rare that the snow here is even the wet snow that packs down, just take your broom out and sweep it off. You don't have to buy the most expensive salt they make the cheap stuff works just as well.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 4 months ago

You are also a whiner. I state above that you and people like you should mind your own business, and my post gets deleted. Whine about this one also.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 4 months ago

Absolutely! I used a broom to sweep the sidewalk in the front of the house I lived in, and up to the mailbox. Kept the back deck clear so the critters didn't have to stand in snow while they ate. Not a problem with me.

P.S. I am a grandmother. Here is my challenge. See if you can keep your sidewalk as clean as grandma's!

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 4 months ago

I'd like to see some statistics that detail exactly how many tickets have been issued. I bet it's not very many.

John Kyle 5 years, 4 months ago

What a zinger! Do you write for Don Rickles?

appleaday 5 years, 4 months ago

Shoveling snow isn't that hard and it's the right thing to do, ordinance or no ordinance. Just wait until it stops snowing and then go out and shovel the sidewalk. Sometimes you have to put down a little rock salt. On New Year's Day, I had shoveled my driveway, my sidewalks, and the driveway and sidewalk of my "snow buddy" who is an elderly woman I signed up to help. I was done with both by 6:30 am. I put down a minimal amount of rock salt and the walkways and driveways of both houses are clear. Ordinances and laws wouldn't have to be made if everyone did the right thing. Unfortunately, about 80% of the laws/rules/ordinances are made for the 20% of the population who can't be good citizens. Shoveling snow is excellent exercise, too.

Haiku_Cuckoo 5 years, 4 months ago

This law is discriminatory against lazy people! Don't tell me to shovel my walk! When it was snowing the other night, I was too busy watching TV to go outside. Then the following morning, I was too busy playing on the computer to shovel the 2 inches of snow. It's not my fault that my walk wasn't shoveled. Somebody else needs to be held accountable. The city should shovel my walk for me and give me free rock salt (and put it on my sidewalk for me). Let the taxpayers pick up the tab. Also, can somebody bring me dinner tonight? The Biggest Loser is on and I don't want to leave the house.

SnakeFist 5 years, 4 months ago

"...put it on my sidewalk for me..."

Maybe you own your sidewalk, but I don't own mine - if I did I'd remove it. The city has an easement across my property for its sidewalk. If the city can make us clear the public sidewalks, can it make us clear the public roads in front of our houses?

How many people are out of town this week and not even aware that it snowed? I could mow my grass before I left for several days, but I couldn't shovel snow that hadn't yet fallen. Are we all required to contract with a private snow removal company just in case it snows while we're away?

JackMcKee 5 years, 4 months ago

Never buy property in Lawrence with a sidewalk.

Old_Oread_Phart 5 years, 4 months ago

So oneeye is worried about the Socialists? ha ha I bet he still cashes his social security check and has his Medicare card in his wallet.

Meanwhile, has he shoveled his under-taxed Louisiana Street properties? probably not. Lawrence is so bad for him maybe he should move.

cummingshawk 5 years, 4 months ago

If somebody reports a sidewalk needs cleaning, does their name appear on the complaint?

Anydaynow 5 years, 4 months ago

I just feel sorry for the elderly that cannot get out to the sidewalk, let alone maintain it. Are there any exceptions for them?

Clara Westphal 5 years, 4 months ago

I am 83 and disabled. I have a young woman who lives close to me. She shovels my walk for me and gets it done before the 48 hours deadline. Senior Services found her for me. Thanks to all of them.

patkindle 5 years, 4 months ago

In the 1800s people came west , forded rivers And suffered hardships to settle areas like kansas Today, folks in Lawrence are unable to walk up Right on uneven surfaces, what a bunch of losers Sure I think sidewalks should be cleared, but I think a lot of folks are wrapped just a little too tight

Maggie Morrissey 5 years, 4 months ago

Not shoveling your sidewalk demonstrates one thing.....LAZY!!! Shovel the sidewalk!!! Good grief!!!

City ordinances such as this are meant as motivation to do what you should have been doing all along. If you don't want a ticket......remove the snow!!! It’s not rocket science!

tir 5 years, 4 months ago

This snow was tough to remove, even though it wasn't deep because it fell on New Years, and there was a lot of foot traffic in the evening while it was still coming down. Whenever the snow is packed down on my walk before I can shovel it, I use a garden shovel that has a straight edge on the bottom--I think it may be a sod shovel. It does a better job than a snow shovel for removing packed snow, and you can also use it to tap on the icy footprints and break them up. Sweeping after using the shovel helps clear things further. If you remove most of the packed snow, the sun will heat up the walk even if it's not above freezing outside, and the remaining icy bits that you can't get off with the shovel will usually melt and evaporate.

hbjayhawk 5 years, 4 months ago

If I get fined, I will appear in court with my forged physicians note indicating that I was under care/treatment and unable to perform snow removal. Under KS state law, a licensed physicians note will be all I need to avoid this ridiculous ordinance. The city is better off setting up a hotline and funding "snow removal" services for high-pedestrian areas where tenants/owners are unable to clear routes within 48 hrs.

Frightwig 5 years, 4 months ago

I think it's sad that you would go through the trouble of forging a doctor's signature and going to court, but you can't take a measly 10 minutes to shovel two inches of snow off your walk.

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 4 months ago

They shouldn't have the ordinance anyway. Two inches of snow isn't even worth worrying about. It certainly isn't anything the City should be threatening people over. The City is supposed to serve the public, not command them. The sun will melt 2" of snow. It shouldn't even come into effect until there is at least 6 inches of snow. And then there should be a rule that people over 45 are not required to shovel. The people that have made comments on here seem to be more worried about how much work everyone else is doing, more than themselves.

Pat Long 5 years, 4 months ago

Why is this such a tough concept? It's just common sense and common courtesy..

Frightwig 5 years, 4 months ago

This is a perfect opportunity for some of the homeless folks to make some money. If they charged $10-$15 per house, they could make a lot of money by the end of the day. They could borrow the homeowner's shovel for the first job and then head to the hardware store on Mass to buy their own shovel after that. If they point out that the alternative would be an $80 citation, I think many homeowners would be glad to pay.

patkindle 5 years, 4 months ago

a grand idea fright wig, but when the people cant even coax the fatt butted kids off the couch to shovel, i doubt if they would have any better luck with the homeless.

Icy_Flame48 5 years, 4 months ago

The city employees get a window to complete their job. Well, should the citizens that are paying for the sidewalks.

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