Sound Off

Sound Off: Snow clearing

Who is responsible for cleaning snow off the sidewalk on Sixth Street, west of Congressional Drive to K-10 on the north side of the street? Hasn’t been done yet today and the sidewalks weren’t cleaned off during the last two snowstorms.

This is a private sidewalk and the property owner would be responsible for snow removal. The area has been reported to Code Enforcement. Any private sidewalk in Lawrence is subject to the Sidewalk Snow Ordinance; complaints can be filed electronically at


workinghard 5 years, 2 months ago

Was the caller trying to use the sidewalk or just annoyed because it wasn't done?

workinghard 5 years, 2 months ago

I guess I am unclear about the location, I thought it was the undeveloped land after Congressional drive out to K10.

repaste 5 years, 2 months ago

The current system of using only complaints to enforce is flawed. I use that walk when cleared, it is bad all the way to Wakarusa. Important sidewalks I see people struggling over right now include in front of La Petite, Hite Collision, Sonic,The athletic club,, strip mall with Caspers, People use that stretch every day, more important than most neighborhoods where walking in street is possible.

elliottaw 5 years, 2 months ago

These would be all business where they are talking about I believe

repaste 5 years, 2 months ago

Point was that stretch of all commercial/apartment sidewalks is heavily used and very dangerous. Current system does more harm to residential homeowners whose sidewalk might be of little danger to avoid. A business should have a different standard. You are correct though, in my fantasy where I do call in a complaint, I'm out there shoveling St. Margarets sidewalk!

Nikki May 5 years, 2 months ago

Especially this time. Our neighbor didn't shovel their walk, but by the time I got home from work Monday, it was all melted. Did they make the cutoff? Doubt it, but it's clear now!

Laura Wilson 5 years, 2 months ago

You have 48 hours. It was still snowing at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday so the deadline would have been Tuesday morning. And, in fact, it was snowing like crazy Monday at 5:30 when I was shoveling my sidewalks after shoveling my driveway on Sunday and hurting my arm from the super heavy snow and having to stop. Did that restart the clock? If it had stuck, I'm guessing yes.

mdlund0 5 years, 2 months ago

The owner of the property adjacent to the sidewalk is liable if the sidewalk hasn't been maintained in accordance with local ordinances.

bad_dog 5 years, 2 months ago

Violation of statutes and ordinances with resultant harm to another can form the basis for a tort claim and damage awards if there is a criminal fine or penalty involved and the purpose of the statute/ordinance was to prevent such harm. Such violations can be considered negligence under the legal doctrine of "negligence per se". The statute/ordinance in question essentially provides a "standard of care" for the Court in the place of a "reasonable prudent person" benchmark.

You would sue the property owner for damages incurred as a result of the owner's failure to comply with the ordinance. It's essentially just a slip & fall claim with the plaintiff's ability to prove negligence on the part of another enhanced by their violation.

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