Thursday, January 2, 2014
Community Action: Snow Edition
With the 10 inches of snow on the ground, and another eight expected today... 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, but you can also pick them 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 don't 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.
I do want to take this opportunity to thank my Bucktown neighbors who do shovel their walks (one day I swear that 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.
Those who need assistance with snow removal, such as seniors and people with disabilities, can call 311 to be matched with someone to help out through the city's new "Snow Corps" program. The city aims to match volunteers with residents in need by block. To lend a helping hand, sign up here.
If you're just super nice and helpful, there's another site called "Adopt a Sidewalk." Maybe you own a snowblower and you don't mind going down the whole street, or maybe you want to brag that your walk is cleared...You can do it all here.