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How much do you think the city should fine people who don’t clear their sidewalks?

Asked at Target, 3201 Iowa St. on February 5, 2011

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Photo of Jenn Fortune

“It depends on where you live. $73 is too much.”

Photo of Bart Nash

“I’m an avid shoveler so I’ll get over and help my neighbors. I think $30 is enough to get you angry and make you want to shovel it.”

Photo of Morgan Pemberton

“It depends on if it’s a high-traffic area, then they should be more on top of it.”

Photo of Nathan Lipski

“I think probably 50 bucks.”

Comments

HW 3 years, 2 months ago

Is the city exempt from this requirement? For those of you who don't agree with the ordinance, I suggest you take note of every city sidewalk you see that is not shoveled, and bombard the code enforcement office with them. I imagine 400-500 extra complaints (which, if I am not mistaken, are required to be investigated) per storm would cramp their style a bit.

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Gootsie 3 years, 2 months ago

hey KU Rowing Team - here's a moneymaking opportunity that will work those upper bodies! Wouldn't it beat yard work?

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hail2oldku 3 years, 2 months ago

Sorry if it has already been posted, but whatever the city decides is an adequate fine for a residential property should be multiplied by at least 5 for commercial properties.

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Carol Bowen 3 years, 2 months ago

Sidewalks adjacent to commercial, industrial, and activity centers like the schools should be shoveled. The fines should be high enough to influence them, or better yet, the city should send out contractors and bill the business. (Stimulate the local economy.) I find it incredible that businesses would not clear the way to their doors.

Clearing sidewalks is a community responsibility. Like Moderate says, we should either shovel ourselves or pay to have it done. And, please quit making claims about disabled folks not able to shovel snow unless you are disabled.

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jrswift 3 years, 2 months ago

They can start fining people as soon as the streets are cleared and their own sidewalks and crossings are clear. That should be about April by my count.

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chestylion 3 years, 2 months ago

What i hate is people who turn in their neighbors to the city people for fun.

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Helen Pendleton Rumbaut 3 years, 2 months ago

And I thought liberal Austin's ordinances were getting way too intrusive...

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catfishturkeyhunter 3 years, 2 months ago

Its very concerning to me that the city has the time and money to go around busting peoples chops for not shoveling a sidewalk. I would think there were more important issues at stake than a side walk that isn't shoveled and will most likely melt off in a few days anyway. Far as I am concerned, people shouldn't be walking in this kind of weather in the first place. For those who must walk or choose to walk, grow a set of balls and suck it up. This country is fast becoming a nation of pussies belly aching about every little thing. For the record, I shoveled my walk, not because I was worried about some bone head walking down the side walk in 10 degree weather, but because I didn't want to be beaten down and flogged by the code inspector. I don't know how we ever made it with out shoveled sidewalks. What a stupid law.

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Alceste 3 years, 2 months ago

Moderate: George Lippencott: Please weigh in:

Be nice if the people sentenced to Community Service for things like DUI, traffic tickets, and any other misdemeanor or even felony matters were sent out with shovels to do this work.

What is preventing our community from accessing this, essentially, free labor pool???

The answer is the idiots at Court Services who will find every excuse in the book (the most often used one being "We don't have the insurance" which really translates into "We're too lazy to leave our offices and actually be a part of the community"...) to NOT be progressive in their thinking. "We've always done it this way....". Give a ring to Ron Stegall, Chief Executive Probation Officer (how ya like that FANCY title?!!) at (785) 832-5220 or email him at rstegall@douglas-county.com . He'll be glad to explain to you why that office CANNOT serve the community. His antiquated decision making is backed by Linda Koester-Vogelsang, Court Administrator: (785) 832-5256; lkv@douglas-county.com (They have a SET list of places where Community Service hours can be worked off and they're all in a/c and heated sit down places; Nice and comfy for that oh so misunderstood drunk driver or whatever.....).

Community corrections and community service: Jokes in Douglas County, Kansas

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

Katara (anonymous) replies… The requirements of the ordinance are still the same. Increasing the penalty for violating an existing ordinance does not make it a new law.

It sure does IMHO if the old ordinance had no teeth

If anything, one could argue that the Lawrence ordinance is much more lenient than other towns. We get 48 hours after the snow stops. Many only get 12-24 hours. True in some cases not true in otheres. Enforcement is the key. WE are many do not.

Anyhow, half the time the snow has already melted here before any enforcement of the ordinance begins. We normally do not get a lot of snow and this usually does not become an issue more than a couple times a year. You make an awful fuss about something that does not happen often.

Well I might point out the reverse. Your sure make an issue out of a problem that exists (if at all) for only a short time every year. Just walk on the snow for a day or two and it will be gone!!

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Matt Needham 3 years, 2 months ago

It's not like the cops are driving around looking at sidewalks. Someone has to complain before a fine is issued. Who do you think is complaining about your un-shoveled sidewalk? It's probably either your neighbors, or the guy who wants you to pay him $20 to shovel it.

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Matt Needham 3 years, 2 months ago

I feel sorry for the mail carriers. How about no mail delivered if you don't clear your sidewalk?

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macon47 3 years, 2 months ago

the thread problem would be 100% eliminated if the ljw would allow only posters using thier real name this would rid us of gultess wonders (like me)

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

"And, if I thread... adjacent to you?"

An affront to God himself.

"and spare me your diatribe about gateway threading; I know when to quit."

That's what Charlie Sheen said and look where he is at now.

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ophiuchus 3 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps there's a case for sequential threading? You know, those rare instances in which the threaded reply IS the next comment in sequence, thus making it more of an indentation than a remapping of the natural sequence of things?

/ and spare me your diatribe about gateway threading; I know when to quit.

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del888 3 years, 2 months ago

There should be a website where people can sign up to shovel the sidewalks in their neighborhood, and also put the price they would charge. Then the people living in that neighborhood can select from a list of people to come to their house and shovel the snow. This would also work for lawn mowing, gutter cleaning, etc etc. Maybe I'll go do that now.

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prospector 3 years, 2 months ago

Momma's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Threaders

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

Tomorrow will be the first organized assault on the Threads. Choose sides. If you are not with us, you are against us.

Hitler used threads. Down with threads!

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ophiuchus 3 years, 2 months ago

Hey, they built this city on threads and trolls!

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CWGOKU 3 years, 2 months ago

Zero. Shoveling should just be a courtesy to your neighbor or just for yourself. Too much time and revenue lost enforcing the law to make it worthwhile.

what is the deal with threading?

Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday or just your Sunday!

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

Threading kills kittens!!! And puppies!!!

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prospector 3 years, 2 months ago

Threading is the Devil's workshop.

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

"I see we have a couple of Threadophobes.

Damn shame."

It appears we have a worthy adversary.

Down with Threads!

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macon47 3 years, 2 months ago

the aclu will beat you to death if you try to force an absconder to do any actual work for community service, they have their rights.

of course the city would not do anything anyway, they are busy trying to figure out more ways to spend the money of the taxpayers, on the loafers, and welfare pimps

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Alceste 3 years, 2 months ago

Be nice if the people sentenced to Community Service for things like DUI, traffic tickets, and any other misdemeanor or even felony matters were sent out with shovels to do this work.

What is preventing our community from accessing this, essentially, free labor pool???

The answer is the idiots at Court Services who will find every excuse in the book (the most often used one being "We don't have the insurance" which really translates into "We're too lazy to leave our offices and actually be a part of the community"...) to NOT be progressive in their thinking. "We've always done it this way....". Give a ring to Ron Stegall, Chief Executive Probation Officer (how ya like that FANCY title?!!) at (785) 832-5220 or email him at rstegall@douglas-county.com . He'll be glad to explain to you why that office CANNOT serve the community. His antiquated decision making is backed by Linda Koester-Vogelsang, Court Administrator: (785) 832-5256; lkv@douglas-county.com (They have a SET list of places where Community Service hours can be worked off and they're all in a/c and heated sit down places; Nice and comfy for that oh so misunderstood drunk driver or whatever.....).

Community corrections and community service: Jokes in Douglas County, Kansas

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prospector 3 years, 2 months ago

The penalty should be pale in comparison to the one handed out to the Threaders.

Threaders heart Hosni.

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snoozey 3 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps public service such as Link kitchen duty would be appropriate in return for city workers clearing their walks. That seems a reasonable trade of service for the infirm.

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Ksgirl2000 3 years, 2 months ago

I I live on the corner of a double cul-de-sac and the sidewalk ends with my property. And although I was grateful for the city in clearing my streets thursday morning with a bobcat, they dumped it all on my sidewalk (more than 6feet high) as they didn't find the sidewalk important enough as they could have dumped on the opposing corner without a sidewalk. So why should I find it important to go shovel this? Even though I'm sure someone with nothing better to do with their day will call me in even though there aren't anymore side walks to use past mine on a dead end road. I would prefer they fine my neighbors EVERY Saturday night from spring through fall for noise levels (note this is not fun party noise but rather trashy fights over who gets the next "hit" off the "pipe" and who hit who) through 5am in the morning. But no... no noise level ordinance fine. Or what about the unleashed dog law. No hype on that ever... Gotta love Lawrence and their love for pit bulls and lack of leashes. All these other issues should carry a enforced fine. So when the city takes other problems seriously, I will shovel my unused 6ft high snow bank of a sidewalk, seriously.

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Healthcare_Moocher 3 years, 2 months ago

They should fine the runners and bicycles who are running/riding in the streets when the sidewalks are cleared off.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

"What's the good of a cleared sidewalk if someone is going to fall from having to climb over the stupid one foot mound of snow and ice to get across the street? "

Good point.

Yes an older gentleman did fall trying to get through a pile at 6th and Maine on Saturday. Lucky for him a woman jumped from her vehicle to assist as did a Douglas County sheriff who just happened by. The gentleman went down on his stomach.

The city will need to send out a crew of Bobcats and shovels to follow behind the snow plows.

Who is responsible for long stretches of sidewalks on Wakarusa and Haskell? These are both busy sidewalks and exercise routes. Many JCCC students use the Haskell sidewalks to catch the K-10 connector bus.

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irvan moore 3 years, 2 months ago

i don't mind shoveling my sidewalks but i wish they would have snow emergency routes and get the cars off Kentucky and Tennessee so we wouldn't have cars sticking out 4 feet into the street.

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ophiuchus 3 years, 2 months ago

Just once. Document the transgression. Drop delinquent residents a note bearing the assessment: "Fine."

/ on the other hand, shoveling walks ain't no big thang; takes all of 10 minutes.

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macon47 3 years, 2 months ago

they should charge any rat fink that turns in a complaint 50 bucks, and make them shovel the walk they turned in no one likes a rat, especailly a neighborhood rat god will take care of them , he doesnt like rats either

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swampyankee 3 years, 2 months ago

Can I charge the city to shovel my street ?The parking areas at Lyons park are plowed before my street is.

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Bill Lee 3 years, 2 months ago

I live on W. 8th Street, and there are sidewalks that haven't been shoveled once this year. Should there be cumulative fines for something like this?

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

Well, as is so often the case on here we make it absolute. People unable to shovel should not have to shovel. If that causes someone with a challenge a problem the rest of us should step up and addresses the issue. There are way to many renters ranting about owners not shoveling while they, usually younger and in better shape, use their fingers to call mommy - the city - to complain. Where are their civic values???

Yes, most of us shovel your walks because the kids among others use them - not because the city has a law. I suspect the law has done little to actually change anything as many of the landlords and management companies eat the fine (probably writing it off as a cost of doing business) while the resident owners shovel anyway. In my neighborhood the walks were mostly cleared by Thursday evening - consistent with what happened before the new ordinance. Where people were unable to do the job others helped. Entrepreneurs were about clearing walks for very reasonable rates (good citizen rates).

If this is the "biggy" here in Lawrence we need to do some soul searching!!!

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 2 months ago

In the words of Barry Goldwater, "You can't legislate responsibility" Damn goat fornicators.

Threaders suck.

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kernal 3 years, 2 months ago

I was out and about Downtown, Old West Lawrence, Iowa Street and out to Hy-vee in West Lawrence and I saw a lot of sidewalks shoveled and a lot of them blocked at the intersections by mounds of snow. i don't know when the city plowed Iowa, 9th St and 6th St, but someone needs to dig out those sidewalks where people cross. What's the good of a cleared sidewalk if someone is going to fall from having to climb over the stupid one foot mound of snow and ice to get across the street? Good luck to those in wheelchairs!

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 2 months ago

The fine should be the same as it is for the city when not cleaning the parking lots downtown and access to the meters and that is $0.

After all, it was even Corliss that stated recently that the parking fund had money so why not use it for parking lots and cleaning them properly.

Face it, Lawrence is in Desperate Hours.

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Katara 3 years, 2 months ago

I am not sure why the outrage about this. Snow shoveling ordinances are common. Many cities have them. Several have much less time to clear it before penalty.

Trenton, NJ - 12 hours of snow stopping & $50 fine. Also their ordinance applies to ice & dirt. http://www.thenewsherald.com/articles/2011/02/05/news/doc4d4c76d8d9677119823134.txt

Arlington, VA - 24 hours of snow stopping & $50 fine for less than 200ft & $100 ft of more than 200 ft. Also a fine of $250 applies if the property owner shovels the snow/or ice into the street, transit stop or sidewalk. http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/Communications/PressReleases/page77111.aspx

St. Paul, MN - 24 hours of snow stopping & $100 fine. Additionally, you can report violations on their website. And you get a handy dandy doorhanger to put on your neighbors' doors to remind them! http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=918

Topeka, KS - 12 hours of snow stopping & up to a $499 fine or 179 days in jail. http://cjonline.com/news/local/2011-01-26/sidewalk-snow-removal-policies-questioned

There are many more if you google snow shoveling ordinances. Lawrence's ordinance is a fairly lenient one.

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autie 3 years, 2 months ago

there should be some ordinances in regard to sidewalk maintenance and easements etc...maybe kufirst or kumom can go do us some research....that should direct any precedents as to the validity of the snow shovel ordinance...rebel people! To the barricades.

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friendlyjhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

Even tho I can't shovel my sidewalk and pay to have it done, my question is what can be done about the mess the maintainer, snowplow, whatever makes all over MY freshly shoveled walk and the entrance into MY driveway as they are cleaning the street in front of my house? There was 3 ft of snow blocking my drive and sidewalk after the city worker made his mad dash down my street. Also my neighbor's. We are both old ladies and had that to contend with. If my hands weren't for crippled from RA I would have flipped off the guy cleaning my street.

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Kent Fisher 3 years, 2 months ago

The fine should be greater than the cost of hiring someone to do it. Currently, it is often cheaper for the property owner to just pay the fine rather than hiring someone.

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

How about a deal... if the city would have level sidewalks, instead of the jumbled mess they have now, I'd be happy to shovel my sidewalk. And, by my sidewalk, I don't have one, but it seems cruel to force people to shovel 10 inches of snow off hob-nobbed mix of scrap.

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fanofKU 3 years, 2 months ago

I guess my question is, who's sidewalk is it anyway? If you want to remove the sidewalk and plant grass, the city will claim it's their sidewalk. So why should the homeowner have to clean the sidewalk if it belongs to the city? Can someone answer this question?

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The_Original_Bob 3 years, 2 months ago

"It would be much more fun to make them stand on Iowa or 23rd in a Statue of Liberty costume while dancing."

Only if they can do my taxes.

What's with the OTS coming out early? To prevent a horrible, horrible person from commenting first?

Down with the Threaders!!!

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psycho_theclown 3 years, 2 months ago

It would be much more fun to make them stand on Iowa or 23rd in a Statue of Liberty costume while dancing.

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autie 3 years, 2 months ago

I think, George, a fellow like you understands what I mean about government legislating nature. How is the old guy or somebody like my wife with MS supposed to get in sub zero weather just so some damn hippie bicycle rider can get by without impediment? This so called shovel the walk thing should be shoved. Life is without some element of risk. If you want to venture out on city thoroughfares in bad weather...please have at it. Will the city next legislate an ordinance that all homeowners must erect umbrellas over the walks to keep pedestrians dry on raining days?

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gogoplata 3 years, 2 months ago

I am amazed the sheep in Lawrence allow the city government to fine them if they don't shovel the sidewalk when it snows. You people need to grow some backbone.

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

Take their house - it is a capital offense - in Lawrence - the seat of all civic virtue

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autie 3 years, 2 months ago

I think zero would be good. Governement cannot legislate nature. On the other hand, the city should pay a $25 stipend to anybody that does shovel their sidewalk. Many municipalities have joint maintenance ordinances for sidewalks...bus up big brother.

oh...and if I'm not mistaken...first. (please insert any comment I may have made to get this post disappearededededed) thank you.

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