Are you prepared for snow shoveling season?

One of these days we will have our first sticking snow, and our neighbors will need us to shovel our sidewalks so we can all get around safely. Minneapolis ordinance requires property owners to clear sidewalks after a snowfall within 24 hours for houses and duplexes and four daytime hours for apartment and commercial buildings. When you shovel snow and clear ice, shovel the sidewalks on all sides of your property, the full width of the sidewalk down to the bare pavement.

After shoveling and clearing your sidewalks, spreading sand or ice-melting material is helpful. The City offers 24-hour sites where residents can pick up free sand for their residential sidewalks. Please bring your own pail and shovel.

Salt on slippery sidewalks or streets helps melt away snow and ice. But the salt-and-water mixture can eventually contaminate soil or end up washing down storm drains and into our lakes and rivers. If you choose to use salt or another deicer, use it sparingly and only after shoveling or plowing as fully as you can. Applying it evenly uses less of the stuff and still gets rid of icy patches. Most hardware stores carry spreaders for this purpose. Before buying de-icing products, read the warning labels. Some de-icing chemicals can corrode metal, damage sidewalks, kill lawns and harm pets when they walk on it.

To report a sidewalk that is not shoveled, file an online complaint or call 311.

For more information on sidewalk shoveling rules and a downloadable flyer to inform and encourage others to shovel, visit Sidewalks Inspections.

Published Nov 12, 2010