Minneapolis taking steps to make sidewalks clearer in the winter

This year, Minneapolis is implementing a faster system to make sure sidewalks are cleared when it snows. Sidewalks are an important part of Minneapolis’ transportation system, and they should be open for everyone. That’s why Minneapolis ordinance requires property owners to clear sidewalks after a snowfall within 24 hours for houses and duplexes and four daytime hours for all other properties.

If the City gets a report or discovers that a sidewalk is not properly cleared, Public Works will send a warning letter and give the property owners a chance to clear it. If the sidewalk still does not get properly cleared, crews will remove the snow and ice from the sidewalk. The property owner will be billed for this work, and unpaid bills will be added to the owner’s property tax.

A new, faster timeline takes effect this year

Starting this year, the inspection and warning process follows the same steps as in the past, but if the property owner doesn’t clear their sidewalk after receiving a warning letter, the City will send out crews more quickly to do the work and bill the owner. This means that the sidewalk could be cleared by the City in substantially less time, often in half the time or less than it’s taken in previous winters. It also means that property owners who receive a warning have a shorter period of time to clear their sidewalk and a higher risk of being charged for the cleanup.

Clearing corners

The city is also making improvements to how sidewalk corners are cleared at intersections throughout Minneapolis. Because there are so many corners, it can take time for crews to get to all of them. Starting this year, City crews will clear sidewalk corners on “pedestrian priority corridors” faster than in the past. These corners, which tend to be along major streets throughout the city, will have snow removed within three working days after a Snow Emergency ends or after an accumulation of four inches of snow. Crews will then move on to the rest of the corners in the city as time and resources allow. Additional funding approved by the mayor and City Council in the City’s 2015 budget make it possible to get to corners in the priority corridors faster than in the past.

To report a sidewalk that is not shoveled, anyone can file an online complaint, call 311 or use the 311 mobile app.

There may be resources for people who need help clearing their sidewalks. People can call 311 for a list of resources that might be available.

Snow shoveling videos

Informative videos in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong are available online to help explain what property owners need to do when it snows.

Shoveling Snow
When it snows, make sure to clear your sidewalks of snow and ice to keep them safer and avoid a possible fine from the City.

Limpieza de Nieve (Shoveling Snow, Spanish)
Cuando Nieva, asegurese de limpiar la nieve y hielo de su acera para mantenerla segura y evitar una multa de la ciudad.

Kev Kaus Daus (Shoveling Snow, Hmong)
Thaum daus lo, koj yuav tsum kaus txoj kev taug ko taw ntawm koj lub tsev.

Barafka Ka Xaaq Gurigaaga iyo Ganacsigaaga Hortooda (Shoveling Snow, Somali)
Markii baraf da'o, ka xaaq barafka dariiqa gugigaaga ama ganacsigaaga hor mara si dadku nabad galyo ugu maraan adna aad uga badbaado ganaax.

 

Published Jan 9, 2015

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