Edgeville Buzz


Be The First To Know

Chicago Shoveling Law

ShovelLaw1This winter season has provided no shortage of snowfall and icy conditions on Chicago’s streets and sidewalks. The majority of Chicagoans use sidewalks to get around the City.  Some Chicagoans such as the elderly and disabled are especially reliant on sidewalks being kept free and clear of ice and snow. In fact, Chicago law requires that all sidewalks—those in front of residences and businesses– be kept clear of snow and ice. This law is often referred to as Chicago’s Shoveling Law.

But, who is responsible for keeping sidewalks clear?

According to the law all property owners, occupants, or other person having “charge” of any building are responsible for keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice.

Here are the specifics:

Snow and ice must be removed from sidewalks in front of the building allowing for a free and clear path at least five feet in width.

All snow falling or accumulated before 4:00 p.m. (except Sundays) must be removed within three hours of accumulation.

Snow which falls or accumulates on Sunday or after 4:00 p.m. and during the night on other days shall be removed before 10:00 a.m.

And here’s an interesting aspect of the law: If the snow or ice is so hard as to not be able to remove it without injury to the pavement, the responsible person must ensure that the sidewalk is “strewn with ashes, sand, sawdust, or some similar suitable material, and shall, as soon thereafter as the weather shall permit, thoroughly clean said sidewalk.”

The law absolves from civil liability persons that remove the snow and/or ice unless the actions of the responsible person are willful and wanton—meaning, not just negligent but willful or wanton. This means a deliberate intention to harm or showing a reckless indifference for the safety of others.

Fines:

As expected, the law provides for fines for each day a sidewalk remains in violation of the ordinance. Individuals can be fined $50 per violation and businesses from $250-500 per day.

Help:

The City of Chicago sponsors a “snow corp volunteer program,” matching up the elderly and those with disabilities with a snow removal volunteer. People in the City can call 311 to request a snow corp. volunteer or to report a property that has not complied with the law.

Given the fact that there is no let-up in sight as to the arctic temperatures, let’s all do our part as citizens and keep an eye out for those who need a hand with shoveling in our community.

DISCLAIMER: NOTHING IN THIS BLOG POST IS MEANT TO SERVE AS LEGAL ADVICE, BUT RATHER, IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. DUE TO THE CHANGING NATURE OF THE LAW, ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

 


We invite you to comment as Edgeville Buzz's GUEST. We review all submissions before they go live on our site. We encourage civil dialogue. Posts must adhere to our comment policy and we reserve the right to delete posts/ban users for instances of inappropriate language, bullying speech, character defamation, spam, etc.