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City Won't Enforce Sidewalk Shoveling

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jan 7, 2010 9:20PM

Photo by Rebecca Whitney
Even as the season's biggest snowfall to date continues to pile up in the city, Mayor Daley stressed the importance of shoveling one's sidewalk but said the city won't enforce the ordinance that requires the sidewalks be cleared by property owners. When asked about enforcing the ordinance today at a press conference today, Daley said, "No, I don't think so, but we want people to understand they have that responsibility." The Trib explains:

A Chicago law on the books for decades says owners or tenants of buildings must remove snow and ice from any walkway narrower than 5 feet within three hours of the snow falling.

The Chicago Department of Transportation's public-way inspectors post notes on businesses and residences where violations occur. Violators could be issued a $50 citation.

Look, we get it. Lots of apartment buildings are necessarily inhabited by the property owner but if you're physically able, shoveling the sidewalk is a common courtesy. Sure, it's a pain to have to do it multiple times on a day like today when the snow piles up, but it's a light, dry snow, most sidewalks aren't that big in this city unless you live in a ginormous mansion (or one of those huge apartment complexes), and it's a smaller pain then slipping on the ice that forms as everyone tromps over the snow, compacting it into a thick sheet of ice that won't melt until mid-May. Be a good neighbor, folks.