Sidewalk snow clearing rules

When it snows, clear your sidewalks to keep them accessible to all. Avoid a snow clearing charge from the City by knowing the rules.

Do your part to keep Minneapolis walkable

Sidewalk clearing time frame

Property owners are required to clear sidewalks of snow and ice.

  • Single-family homes and duplexes – You must clear sidewalks within 24 hours after it stops snowing.
  • All other properties – You must clear sidewalks within 4 daytime hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) after it stops snowing.

See Minneapolis Ordinance 445.20

Why it's important to clear sidewalks

City sidewalks need to be accessible to everyone year-round. Many in our community rely on sidewalks to get to work, school, errands, appointments and more. Sidewalks that aren't cleared of snow and ice are difficult and sometimes dangerous to use. They're especially challenging for people with limited mobility.

City inspections

The City inspects sidewalks to make sure property owners clear them. We start inspecting sidewalks 24 hours after each snowfall. We may also learn about an uncleared sidewalk if someone makes a complaint.

Sidewalk clearing basics

  • Shovel the entire width of the city sidewalk on your entire property down to bare pavement. 
  • If the snow is packed down or there’s ice you cannot remove, sprinkle sand until it's warm enough to remove the buildup.
  • If you live on a corner, clear curb cutouts at the street corners and crosswalks to the street gutter. 
  • You do not have to clear snow piles left by plows beyond the gutter, but you can if able to do it safely. City crews will do this as soon as possible.
  • Shovel around your garbage carts and recycling bins. If you do not, the City may do it for you and charge a fee. For more information, see clearing snow around carts.
  • Shovel snow into your yard or boulevard. It’s against the law to shovel snow into streets or alleys.
  • Arrange for someone else to shovel if you'll be away.
  • You’re responsible for the sidewalk throughout the winter, not just when it snows. As the temperature changes, snow and ice from nearby sidewalks can melt and flow onto your sidewalk, then refreeze. It's your responsibility to clear or sand the resulting ice.

If you do not shovel

  • If you do not properly clear your sidewalk of snow and ice, you may receive a letter informing you to do so.
  • If you have not cleared the sidewalks by the time of our follow-up inspection, crews will remove the snow and ice and bill you.
  • If you do not pay the bill, we'll add the fee amount to your property taxes.

Sidewalk clearing help

Give your neighbors a hand and work together to keep your entire block safe and accessible to all.

Resources for sidewalk clearing help:

Report uncleared sidewalks

Help keep our city sidewalks clear and usable to all. If you notice a sidewalk in front of a property that has not been cleared properly, you can:

Shoveling Snow PSA

When it snows, make sure to clear your sidewalks and sidewalk corners of snow and ice.

Watch this video in other languages

Contact us

Minneapolis 311

Hours

7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday – Friday