Lawrence residents may be getting better at running a snow shovel.
According to the latest numbers from City Hall, only six tickets were issued for unshoveled sidewalks following the snowstorms that hit earlier this month. That’s an improvement from when the snow shoveling ordinance was in its infancy. During the winter of 2009/2010, the city issued more than 200 tickets to property owners who hadn’t cleared their sidewalks within the 48 hours following the end of a snow storm.
During this most recent batch of winter weather, the city did receive 72 complaints about the condition of sidewalks. But Brian Jimenez, the city’s director of codes, said most of them didn’t result in a ticket because city inspectors took the extra step of trying to call property owners before conducting an inspection. Once called, those property owners got busy shoveling and avoided a ticket, which carries a $20 fine and $60 in court costs. The city also didn’t issue any tickets for sidewalks that clearly had been covered by snow thrown from a snow plow.
But Jimenez, who has monitored the program for several years, said the biggest factor may be that residents are taking shoveling more seriously.
“It definitely has increased awareness that shoveling your sidewalk is the neighborly thing to do,” Jimenez said.