Help your neighbors get around – shovel your sidewalk
It’s neighborly and it’s the law
Streets get a lot of attention in the news when it snows, but sidewalks are also a critical part of our City's transportation system. For people on the way to and from their cars, the bus, the train, and even for the entire trip, clear sidewalks make the difference between a comfortable, safe route and a potentially hazardous one. That’s why it’s important for homeowners and businesses to keep their sidewalks shoveled. Minneapolis ordinance requires that property owners clear sidewalks after a snowfall within 24 hours for houses and duplexes and four daytime hours for apartment and commercial buildings.
What property owners need to remember this snow season:
- Keep on top of the snowfall – Staying caught up early in the season will help you with each snowfall. 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. Corners can take special attention; make sure a wheelchair can get through on your block. When possible, remove all ice from sidewalks. Remember, you are as responsible for clearing ice on your sidewalk as clearing snow. Ice can be more dangerous and intimidating than snow. The sooner and more completely you shovel, the less likely ice will form. After the sidewalk is clear, sprinkling a little sand can help prevent slipping on frosty sidewalks. Free sand is available to Minneapolis residents.
- Remember garbage and recycling pickups – Solid waste collection crews are out working, even after a heavy snowfall. Make sure to clear a path three feet wide from your garbage cart and recycling bin to the alley or street. Also make sure your cart and bin can be moved freely.
- Know the rules – Minneapolis ordinance requires that property owners clear sidewalks after a snowfall within 24 hours for houses and duplexes and four daytime hours for apartment and commercial buildings.
- Help is available – If you need help shoveling, you can contact City of Minneapolis senior services at (612) 673-3567 to find out what resources may be available in your neighborhood.
- Help get the word out – Download and share this snow shoveling flyer (pdf) to tell others about the rules and importance of sidewalk snow clearance.
- Help your neighbors – Lend a hand to neighbors who may have a hard time shoveling, or help out if there is an empty home on your block.
- Make a report – You can always file an online complaint or call 311 to report a sidewalk that is not shoveled. Last year, Minneapolis received more than 6,000 reports of unshoveled sidewalks. If the City of Minneapolis 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 does not get cleared, the property owner may be issued a citation with a fine. Crews will remove the snow and ice from the sidewalk. The property owner will be billed for this service, and unpaid bills will be added to the owner’s property tax.
For more information on snow removal, go to www.MinneapolisMN.gov/Snow.
Published Dec. 6, 2010