Private Property, residential or commercial property owners and occupants are required to clear the sidewalks abutting their property of snow or ice within 24 hours after the snow and ice have stopped falling. This includes the corner crosswalk area for property owners with corner lots or those whose property abuts a midblock crosswalk. Violators who are reported to DPW are issued a notice to clear the walk and will be assessed an initial inspection charge of $25 for the first notice, $45 for the second notice and $90 for subsequent violations per City Ordiance 116-8. If the sidewalks still are not clear within another 24 hours, a Sanitation crew will clear a path on the walk, and the charge will appear on the property tax bill. The city is responsible for only the approaches to alleys; alleys are not plowed.
Sidewalk clearing for older citizens and disabled persons
Residents who own single family homes who are physically unable to clear the sidewalk in front of their home may apply to Sanitation for assistance with clearing the walk after a snowstorm exceeding 4 inches. Click here to learn more about special needs services.
Public Sidewalks and Crosswalks
Sanitation is responsible for clearing crosswalks of excessive amounts of snow due to plowing. Public sidewalks are cleared following street cleanup after a storm. Because the crews who drive snow plows also operate sidewalk and bus stop cleanup equipment, these operations begin after street plowing is finished. City properties and those with hardship exception cases are plowed first, then crosswalks and alley openings are cleared. It generally takes up to three days to complete a sidewalk operation.
When directed, the Street Maintenance Section of the Infrastructure Services Division clears windrows of plowed snow from 4,000 bus stops. Click here to learn more about Bus Stop snow removal.
City Owned Buildings
Each city department is responsible for maintaining clear sidewalks abutting their buildings and field offices in outlying areas. The entire City Hall complex is maintained by Department of Public Works staff.
Forestry clears a limited number of specified locations while other pedestrian walks are cleared by Sanitation staff.
City Owned Parking Lots
Forestry clears the abutting sidewalks of snow and ice. The lots themselves are cleared by private contractors.
Sidewalks around and through totlots are salted by Forestry for ice control only. If plowing of sidewalks is necessary, Sanitation clears totlot sidewalks.
Sanitation clears sidewalks abutting railroad bridges in conjunction with a general plowing operation.
City Maintained Bridges
The Infrastructure Services Division is responsible for a specified list of sidewalks on bridges. Certain bridge sidewalks are cleared by the Sanitation Division but only in conjunction with a plowing operation cleanup.
Bridges/Overpasses Over Freeways/Interstate Highways
Pedestrian walkways and streets with sidewalks abutting bridges are cleared by Sanitation, only when a plowing operation is called and there is sufficient snow accumulation to warrant a plowing.
City ordinance prohibits shoveling snow onto streets
Property owners should deposit the snow from sidewalks and driveways onto their yards or the strip between the curb and sidewalk.