Will be interesting to see if the city actually tickets anyone over uncleared sidewalks. The city contacted businesses after the heavy snow last year but never heard if any tickets got issued. I noticed very few residential sidewalks cleared after last month's snow but saw quite a few people out cleaning them off after this one. Mayor Monty sent out the following this afternoon:
Carbondale’s Acting Mayor Don Monty is urging residents and businesses to promptly remove snow from public sidewalks abutting their properties. Section 17-2-2 of the Carbondale City Code states: “Every owner and every person in charge or control of any building or lot of land within the City fronting or abutting a paved sidewalk . . . shall remove and clear away or cause to be removed and cleared away snow, ice, sleet or freezing rain from a path of at least thirty inches in width along the entire length of the sidewalk which fronts or abuts their property and the roadway.” The snow, sleet, ice or freezing rain must be removed within 48 hours after the precipitation ends.
Acting Mayor Monty is particularly concerned that snow be removed from sidewalks in business districts, along heavily traveled streets (such as those on the City’s snow routes), along streets leading to schools or the University, and in areas with high densities of residents. He noted that he had driven through parts of Carbondale today and was pleased to see that some businesses and residents had promptly removed the snow from sidewalks. However, it is clear that many have made no effort to remove the snow, and in some cases persons clearing parking lots and driveways have deposited piles of snow on public sidewalks. It is also a violation of the City Code for persons to deposit snow on public sidewalks or around fire hydrants. After the previous heavy snowfall two weeks ago, many of the sidewalks were never cleared.
The reason for removing the snow from sidewalks is for public safety. When the sidewalks are not cleared of snow, sleet, ice and freezing rain, pedestrians are often forced into the streets. This is not safe. People can slip and fall causing serious injuries on snowy or icy sidewalks. Persons with disabilities are particularly affected when sidewalks are not kept accessible. Children walking to school may try to walk in the street rather than trudge through snow. People without cars who need to get to stores may have to abandon their shopping due to safety concerns. Carbondale has many university students who do not have cars and rely on walking to get to the University or elsewhere in the community. As a community we all are trying to assist SIU in attracting and maintaining students, but Acting Mayor Monty has received messages from students expressing dismay over the failure of businesses and residents to clear snow from sidewalks.
The deadline for removing snow from public sidewalks from the most recent snowfall is Friday evening, March 5. Anyone who has failed to do so is subject to a fine. Also, anyone who has deposited snow on public sidewalks is subject to a fine. Acting Mayor Monty said that he has become very upset by the failure of many people, especially in the areas listed above, to remove the snow from public sidewalks. He and City Council members have asked the City administration to actively enforce the snow removal ordinance. Enforcement is a last resort measure, but many efforts to educate businesses and residents have not resulted in voluntary compliance; therefore, the time for enforcement has arrived.
Enforcement of the snow removal requirements is done by the Building and Neighborhood Services Division which can be reached by calling 457-3237. Persons who desire to complain about snow not being removed from sidewalks should call that number or may contact the City Manager’s office at 457-3226.
Acting Mayor Monty can be reached at 457-3229.