Should The City Shovel For Those Who Don’t, Then Charge Them?

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Snow Boots, Snowy Sidewalk

A proposed amendment to existing laws about sidewalk snow and ice removal could mean heftier penalties for those who don’t shovel, but clear walks for pedestrians.

Councilmember David Greenfield is proposing that the city use municipal workers to clear a sidewalk they would normally ticket (fines currently start at $100 if a sidewalk isn’t cleared within four hours of the end of a storm), and then bill the delinquent property owner $250 or more for the work, depending on the size of the property.

“Simply issuing a fine to the property owner really doesn’t solve the problem, as many of these tickets are ignored,” Greenfield said in a release. “That’s why I am proposing to amend the existing law so that the city can perform the work itself, which would actually result in ice-free sidewalks and additional revenue.”

In cases like vacant properties or stalled construction sites, where summonses don’t do much of anything to get the sidewalk cleared, Greenfield contends his proposed amendment would at least make things safer for pedestrians.

So, what do you think? Have outreach efforts by Community Board 6, for instance, been enough? Or could this amendment help you get around better — or is it just another fine?

Should the city clear icy sidewalks and charge the property owner?

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