Attention New Yorkers: Clear Ice Off Your Sidewalk Or Pay Up

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The Daily News reports: Okay New Yorkers, it’s time to get serious about shoveling the snow off your sidewalk – before it costs you.

The Sanitation Department says it has issued more than 2,500 tickets in the last month to owners who left their sidewalks slick and dangerous with ice and snow.

Each one costs at least $100 – and as much as $350 for repeat violations.

“It’s important that property owners clear a path for pedestrians after a snowstorm,” said Sanitation spokesman Matthew LiPani. “Failure to do so is a major safety hazard for the young and elderly alike.”

It’s especially important this year as New York has been walloped with 56.9 inches of snow even before yesterday’s ice storm.

On one snowy stretch of 48th St. in Borough Park, Brooklyn, an inch of black ice in front of four adjacent homes yesterday sent passersby slipping and sliding.

“This is against Jewish law,” railed Meir Shalom Rosenberg, 58, after he almost fell. “By not shoveling, they are causing people to get hurt.”

Property owners have to clear ice and snow from their sidewalks within four hours of the last flake falling, city rules say. If it stops after 9 p.m., the deadline is extended until 11 a.m. the next morning.

If the ice is packed too hard to shovel, property owners are required to put down sand, sawdust or something else to give pedestrians traction.

None of the four homes on 48th St. bothered to do that, leaving neighbors to contend with an ice rink.

“I shoveled it before. The neighborhood kids come and mess it up,” whined one homeowner who wouldn’t give his name. “It’s gonna snow tomorrow and then there’s another snowstorm. It keeps coming. I shovel everyday. Why doesn’t the city come to help?”

Told a Daily News photographer was on the way to document just how bad his sidewalk was, he stopped kvetching, grabbed a shovel and started picking at the ice.

“Borough Park is pretty bad,” said eighth-grader Jeffery Liberman, 14, after he slipped next door. “People are not doing a good job. It’s pretty hard to walk.”

From the Dec. 26 blizzard through Sunday, Sanitation recorded 2,528 snow and ice tickets – 854 in Brooklyn, 852 in the Bronx, 702 in Queens, 94 in Staten Island and just 26 in Manhattan.

City crews had their own well-publicized troubles trying to clear the streets after the blizzard, but records at the Environmental Control Board show the department waited at least five days after that storm before ticketing any homeowners.

LiPani said anyone can call 311 to report a hazardous stretch of sidewalk, which will bring Sanitation officers out to inspect it.

(Source: NY Daily News)


10 COMMENTS

  1. “LiPani said anyone can call 311 to report a hazardous stretch of sidewalk, which will bring Sanitation officers out to inspect it.”

    I’ll bet they’ll come pretty fast too, – because they love to issue summonses!
    BUT – call them for an unplowed and/or unsalted STREET and you can wait a week for them to show up!!!

  2. I have no pity on people who don’t shovel and or put down sand. If they are too old let their neighbor help.
    Why should a person fall especially elderly and layup in hospitals or such. The tagging is right

  3. I wholeheartedly agree. People who don’t shovel and/or salt in front of their properties SHOULD absolutely be given large fines. Enough is enough! If someone is old, there is always a neighbor or relative who can shovel and if they don’t offer than they should be asked for a favor. If that’s not available, there’s always people looking to make a buck strolling the streets who will gladly do it for a few dollars, and don’t tell me maybe they can’t afford it- this is a necessity like bread and butter. As I trudge down a block and slip in slide or get my feet soaked while passing a property that has been irresponsibly negelected, I usually put in a “prayer” for the owner, usually one they’d prefer wasn’t answered.

  4. My mother, a”h, used to go to Florida for 2 months in the winter.

    She used to arrange with a neighbor IN ADVANCE, that if there was snow or ice while she was away, that they would take care of clearing it away.
    If she could see to that obligation – LONG DISTANCE, so can everyone else.

  5. The Halacha is very clear:

    This is a “Bor Birshus Harabim.”–A public hazard, for which you must pay, if you caused it through your neglect.

  6. #5- Maybe stop thinking so deep, and start learning the halacha.

    While it may be wrong and very bad, it’s not a Bor Birshus Harabim.

    You need to CREATE one, physically.

    Again, you must shovel your snow, but don’t call it something its not.

  7. It’s sick that the same Sanitation Department, who’s commitment to public safety in general, and snow-clearing particularly, is the one giving out summonses! First they should pay a few heavy fines themselves!

  8. It’s sick that the same Sanitation Department, who’s commitment to public safety in general, and snow-clearing particularly is questionable, is the one giving out summonses! First they should pay a few heavy fines themselves!

  9. Many of us are walking in the streets because homeowners don’t care to take care of their property, which presents its own hazards. Hey, if you didn’t want the responsibility, you should have bought a coop or condo, or live in a rental apt. where there’s a maintenance crew who clear the sidewalks. Kids are always thrilled to make a few bucks shoveling!