A Friendly Reminder: Shovel That Snow!

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in News on Jan 2, 2014 11:00PM

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The Neighborly Thing To Do by Chuck Sudo

[Editor's note: Our contributor Michelle Meywes reminded us today on her personal blog to make sure we get out and shovel that snow, not just because we are good decent humans but also because it is the law in Chicago. We're reposting here to share this important information. Be safe, everyone!]

With the 12.3 inches of snow on the ground, and counting, it's time for my annual reminder that shoveling your sidewalk is the law in Chicago. Municipal Code sections 4-4-310 and 10-8-180 state that property owners and occupants are responsible for keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice.

Here is a pdf of a friendly door hanger for your neighbors, which you can also pick up at your alderman's office. Here is a more detailed pamphlet on the specifics of the law, including how quickly you should have snow removed and how to report locations that don't (Basically just call 311). Individuals and business who do not shovel could face fines. I'm not sure how often these fines are actually enforced, but look, this really isn't about city revenue, it's about all of us being able to get around with less of a chance of falling on our asses and breaking something.

[Editor's note: If you are physically unable to snow your sidewalk, the city does have the Chicago Snow Corps program, which connects volunteers with residents in need of snow removal, such as seniors or those with disabilities. You can request a volunteer through 311 or visit the Snow Corps site here.]

I do want to take this opportunity to thank my neighbors who do shovel their walks (one day I swear I'm going to print up 'Thank You' door hangers), and the city is also practicing some positive reinforcement with the "Winter Wonder" Award. You can nominate a business or organization here.