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Do you support the city of Lawrence’s snow shoveling law requiring sidewalks to be clear within 48 hours after the storm?

Response Percent Votes
53% 608
41% 474
Not sure
5% 63
Total 1145
Note: This is not a scientific poll. Vote in this poll


Caesar_Augustus 4 years, 9 months ago

Yes. Unsafe conditions should be rectified in a timely manner and 48 hours after precipitation stops is more than enough time for someone to put down the Xbox controller and get outside and clear their sidewalks.

There are also options for elderly people to pursue to get help. My two older boys and I help our neighbors out by shovelling their driveways and walkways as well.

yankeevet 4 years, 9 months ago

I didn't know the sidewalks belonged to the owners?? I thought the sidewalks belonged to the city.........hummmmmm

littlexav 4 years, 9 months ago

the city has an easement, so they "own" the sidewalks but the landowner still owns the property and the city can require them to maintain them.

the real issue is, what the heck are people doing on sidewalks when it's snowy outside?!? drive your car, or stay inside by the fire.

Wait for snowmelt or wear big boots. Use common sense, and you won't slip and fall. This ordinance is ridiculous.

nekansan 4 years, 9 months ago

Only if the city meets the same standard for clearing roads, sidewalks and parking areas under their control.

mcmandy 4 years, 9 months ago

So were me, my husband, and his uncle. We grabbed our shovels and made a path 3/4 of a block to the end of our street so we could gain access to a plowed street. We actually had fun, and it didn't take long because a few neighbors caught on and joined in. It snows so little down here, its hard not to enjoy it/just deal with it when it does.

Sorry, Whirl, didn't mean for this to seem like an attack on you specifically. I just get that it doesn't make fiscal sense to have a huge crew working on snow removal during the winter when we hardly get any most years (at least since I moved here in 04). It does however, make sense that in two days most people can figure out how to get a small span of sidewalk shoveled. Its winter in the midwest - deal.

mcmandy 4 years, 9 months ago

Please laugh and accept this as a peace offering If my last post came across as rude.

jayhawks12 4 years, 9 months ago

I completely agree with this. We were stranded a week last winter! When we called about it they said we were on the end of the route...I say if it takes a week to get to a road in your city, that's unacceptable. Even after they came through it wasn't driveable. The people on our street ended up clearing it with shovels together.

Caesar_Augustus 4 years, 9 months ago

I've never been stranded in town yet, but then again, I PREPARE for the worst by either having a 4wd vehicle to get around in that I know how to drive, or by putting chains on my vehicle to help get around in snowy/icy conditions. There's no reason at all someone in town should get stranded unless they just weren't properly prepared for the conditions, however unpopular that viewpoint might be. Imagine that, having to take personal responsibility for something.. What's this world coming to.

jayhawks12 4 years, 9 months ago

Actually, last year I spent $500 on winter tires so that I would be prepared, but the snow was too deep, & I still couldn't get around. Not everyone has that kind of money to spend on winter tires/a 4wd vehicle/chains.

Cai 4 years, 9 months ago

Maybe we could submit complaints against the city?

Abdu Omar 4 years, 9 months ago

Some people are disabled and cannot clear snow in a month of sundays. Where are the boys and girls looking to maker some quick cash by shoveling the snow? When I was young, we prayed for snow days so we could pocket some ready cash from our neighbors. But today, there is no one since our children have everything they want and don't know how to work., Work!!

ksarmychick 4 years, 9 months ago

It's because all the kids that shovel snow want you to pay them $50 for a 1/2 hours worth of work.

Caesar_Augustus 4 years, 9 months ago

Not all. My kids freely go help the neighbors because we've instilled values in them and lead by demonstrating how to be good neighbors. That's not to say they wont accept money from the neighbors if the neighbors insist they take it, or maybe a plate of hot chocolate chip cookies, but they don't ask for money when they help. This is how it should be. We regularly shovel 4 driveways plus our own every snowfall and enjoy giving back to the neighborhood.

DillonBarnes 4 years, 9 months ago

That or if you hire a kid and he falls and breaks his arm in your driveway, the parents will sue you.

BorderRuffian 4 years, 9 months ago

NO!!! This is just another Gestapo tactic of Larryville to extort more money from the residents. It is Gestapo particularly since it targets especially those who are least able, physically or economically, to be able to leap to their master's command.

independant1 4 years, 9 months ago

Those old folks don't need all their money anyway, it's just another income redistribution tactic.

BorderRuffian 4 years, 9 months ago

The other thing that is despicable about this ordinance is that not only is there a fine, but the COURT COSTS! Come on, now, does it really take $52 to process a mailed in fine? More extortion.

KU_cynic 4 years, 9 months ago

I doubt this ordinance ever generates complaints and enforcement in most residential neighborhoods. And, I would not want the City to get heavy handed about it in neighborhoods.

But commercial establishments are something entirely different. What really ticks me off is when a Mass Street business doesn't take care of its sidewalk area, which happens much more frequently than it should. Those establishments should be given a much shorter clock, and the City should be trigger happy to fine them if they don't comply.

BrianR 4 years, 9 months ago

I always shovel my sidewalk but if a situation arose where I wasn't home and couldn't shovel, that is a problem. If I have to then pay a fine, I will consider the sidewalk my property and promptly jackhammer it out of existence.

sissezz 4 years, 9 months ago

yeah... where are those kids? Id pay to have someone shovel my sidewalk.

LeBo 4 years, 9 months ago

Get your lard outside and get on it!

Mel Wedermyer 4 years, 9 months ago

I support this law. There is a volunteer program for people to sign up to have their sidewalks shoveled if they are unable. If you don’t want to do it then move to an apartment complex and they will do it for you. Otherwise act responsible and do what is required of you. I personally enjoy shoveling, for short periods of time. I might shovel my driveway multiple times before it stops snowing and always shovel the whole driveway before going to work. I don’t have a sidewalk because I live in a Cul-de-sac. I also go to my neighbors and shovel theirs if they haven’t it yet. So shovel yours and help your neighbors out also.

madameX 4 years, 9 months ago

Do you know how one might sign up to be a snow-removal volunteer? I'd sure there are folks in my neighborhood who need help but I don't know who they are. I'd be willing to put my name on that list.

lawrencekansan 4 years, 9 months ago

Douglas County Senior Services coordinates Safe Winter Walkways. Volunteers sign up to shovel the sidewalks for older adults or individuals with a disability.

whats_going_on 4 years, 9 months ago

just not any apartment complexes owned by MPM. They...will not.

deec 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm really glad my deceased mother's house is not in Lawrence. Her walk got shovelled about once a month when one of us drove the 200 miles up here to work on clearing it out. I lived in Lawrence 20+ years, and I always thought this was a dumb ordinance. The streets were impassable, but the sidewalks had to be clean? Many times we cleaned the sidewalks only to have them reburied in slushy ice when the plows finally got around to working the neighborhood streets.

Jeanne Cunningham 4 years, 9 months ago

The WORST part of this is that the fine does NOT get the sidewalk shoveled. How does THAT make any sense? If this continues to be the law, the solution should be that the city gets it done for you and the bill you get is for the work. How does levying a fine help those pedestrians who need to pass along the unshoveled walk? Isn't that why the ordinance was passed - to provide safe passage for pedestrians?

I, personally, hate this ordinance because I think it is too vague. It's a great concept to think that within some number of hours after the snow has stopped everyone could have cleaned sidewalks. But, here's the reality: until the time period has passed, who knows when that end-time will come? So, it's a Catch 22. If one tries to get out there ASAP and begin clearing, then if it snows more there is rework to do. If one waits until the designated time period has elapsed with no snow, there may be so much snow (and ice), it becomes an impossible task.

The REAL irony is that we actually generally have only one or two periods in a given year when snow removal becomes necessary, so it's hardly worth buying the necessary equipment to do it right.

As far as kids doing the work: society has become too litigious for that to be an option. Can you imagine being sued because a teenager injured his/her back while shoveling? Ask YOUR insurance agent IF your liability insurance would cover THAT?!?!? and/or what your deductable would be?

If the city were to pay laborers (or use available laborers - work release prisoners, maybe?) to just go around a clear those walks which actually need to be cleared, they would NOT have to pay the cost of policing and administering the ordinance at all. Or, maybe those same people (the police, clerks, etc.) could just go shovel the snow themselves - INSTEAD of doing the policing, etc. The city is already paying them - and I would expect that each one has that infamous "other duties as assigned" clause in his/her position description...

Just sayin' ;-)

pace 4 years, 9 months ago

I don't want to the city to send work release criminals to the homes of the most vulnerable members of the community. I would love to see churches and youth groups organize work experience and employment programs for kids and unemployed.

Bob Forer 4 years, 9 months ago

Give me a fricking break!!!! The crews are supervised. There are not being sent inside the home to help bake cookies. they are OUTSIDE on the damn sidewalk.

Some folks just aren't very smart, are they? kls

pace 4 years, 9 months ago

Thanks to the people who shovel their sidewalks and help others. If you have a teenager buy him or her a good snow shovel and an ice scrapper,good gloves. Instruct them in cold weather layering clothing. Encourage them to figure out how long an area would take , factoring amount of snow ,temperature and humidity. I am able to pay about $12. an hour. This is a nice chance to show kids that money can be made and how to develop a business plan.

Kontum1972 4 years, 9 months ago

here is a about if there is a median in the center of the road....the Knot heads in the plow-trucks push the snow on the median instead of on our sidewalks and driveways which u want us to maintain.,,then when it warms up it will melt off.

obtw the concept for this was probably thought up after work in a bar after about 5 drinks....and they all laughed at the table....thats it we will fine them...easy money!

Jeanne Cunningham 4 years, 9 months ago

Logic? You're thinking logic will apply??? ...

and, I don't know about the bar/drinks, but I'm willing to put money on the fact that those who (1) thought it up and (2) voted for it didn't and don't have to worry about where to get the money to pay for either a snow blower or someone else to do the shoveling, therefore, not ever worried about having to pay the fine. My observation that most (not necessarily all) finger-pointing is done by hands with fairly nicely manicured nails...

... just sayin'

Jeanne Cunningham 4 years, 9 months ago

"My observation that" SHOULD have read, "My observation IS that."

northtowngrl 4 years, 9 months ago

Hate to break it to you folks, but very few cities and towns in cold weather parts of the country do NOT have these ordinances. Get over it and get it done. And help someone who can't do it for themselves.

George Lippencott 4 years, 9 months ago

Qualified support. We need to update our laws to recognize environmental and medical impacts. The law should not hold those physically incapable and financial limited at risk. It should also have provisions to address severe cold (wind) that would put at risk those attempting to comply. This task falls most heavily on residential property owners. Perhaps it is time to require renters to “volunteer” to shovel for those who can not and as a minimum the property where they live. Only fair in a city where less than half own the property they live in.

Denny2009 4 years, 9 months ago

Absolutely I agree with this. Not everyone owns a car, therefore walking is the only option. Clear your sidewalks and if your neighbor is elderly or unable to shovel, do them a favor and clear their walks as well. I live in Michigan now so it would be such a hassle if people didn't take responsiblity and shovel their walkways...although everyone out here owns a snow blower, which I'm looking into purchasing eventually.

Gail Grant 4 years, 9 months ago

What about the city and the developers? my street is not fully built, so while the house owners clear the way, the rest of it is block. What about those parts??

Denny2009 4 years, 9 months ago

And this shouldn't be about the city helping the people. I'm sure people are thinking..Why should I have to shovel my sidewalks if the city isn't going to plow every street in time? Well this should be more about people helping people and making it easier for your community to use the sidewalks.

wdl 4 years, 9 months ago

As a rule of thumb the 48 hr. rule is okay, but largley not enforceable. I am always amused at how governments weather local or federal try to legislate your life. Even to extent of what mother nature does. Consumed by their sense of self importance. I don't have sidewalks and I never want sidewalks.

irvan moore 4 years, 9 months ago

enforcement on a complaint basis is unequitable, either enforce it or don't.

dogwalker 4 years, 9 months ago

YES, I support the ordinance! Clearing sidewalks is a matter of public safety, and it would be irresponsible of the city not to have an ordinance and to enforce it. is irresponsible of property owners to not consider their liability if they do not clear their sidewalks.

Jim Phillips 4 years, 9 months ago

48 hours is just about enough time to get the sidewalk cleared before the snowplows come through and cover them up again.

Reuben Turner 4 years, 9 months ago

all you lazy folks need to clean that snow up. I do like to take walks in the snow on the sidewalks sometimes. I support the city and law and hope these lazy folks start doing right.

Jim Phillips 4 years, 9 months ago

How about I give you a snow shovel and you can scoop while you walk.

Bill Lee 4 years, 9 months ago

There should be an ordinance requiring apartment complexes to clear their parking lots. Most do to keep the residents happy, but I've lived in a couple who didn't. Last year I was trapped and couldn't get to the street for more than a week.

kernal 4 years, 9 months ago

I could be mistaken, but I think most of them only clear the sidewalks near their on-site offices. Good luck on getting them to clear their parking lots, except by their offices. I remember what that was like.

The thing to consider about home owners sidewalks is if your sidewalk is not safe to walk on and because of that, somewhat falls and is injured, you are liable.

persevering_gal 4 years, 9 months ago

Yes, but there needs to be some consideration taken place. What about the elderly or disabled? What if someone was on vacation?

whats_going_on 4 years, 9 months ago

and what happens if you're out of town for the holidays and there is a horrible snow storm, like last year? (I wasn't personally gone, just saying) Do you still get fined?

DillonBarnes 4 years, 9 months ago

Was wondering the same, a very reasonable excuse this time of year.

kernal 4 years, 9 months ago

Say that when you're 80 and can't safely shovel your walk.

classclown 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm going to get a snow making machine so there can be snow on the sidewalk during times when it doesn't snow.

fancy80 4 years, 9 months ago

does it even matter if we support it?

for the record, our sidewalk is fairly busy for walkers and runners, so yes we certainly try to clear it within the 48 hours, out of courtesy to the people who use it. If we had an elderly neighbor who was unable to clear their sidewalk living nearby, I would ask my son to shovel it, (and not take any money for doing it). It is just the right thing to do. However, I must say that I do object to being "mandated" to do anything. I guess I have a problem with authority...

snoozey 4 years, 9 months ago

I support prompt sidewalk clearing but hope the city has the staff to get it done..ahem

irvan moore 4 years, 9 months ago

8am and my walks and drive are cleaned off, this was easy, used a broom to sweep it away.

Carol Bowen 4 years, 9 months ago

Yes, but the ordinance should require shoveled walks 48 hours after the storm starts. Given a couple of days, snow can turn to ice.

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