Challenges and Obstacles of Cleaning Snow From Sidewalks

Keeping your sidewalks clear of snow is an important part of your overall winter maintenance. However, there are challenges and obstacles you may face along the way, from legal obligations to safety concerns.

Legal obligations

If you have a home or business in New York, you may be required to clear the sidewalks around your property. You can be held legally liable if you fail to do so. This means you could face a fine or even a lawsuit if someone gets injured on your property due to your failure to clean snow from your sidewalks.

New York receives a lot of snow and ice in the winter. While federal law does not require you to shovel or clean the sidewalks, it is recommended you do so. Aside from causing a hazard for pedestrians, icy or snow-covered sidewalks can also lead to slip and fall accidents.

Do businesses in Taylorsville, UT have to clean snow from sidewalks? Yes.

Snow removal laws are varied in different states. However, most municipalities will require you to clear the sidewalks of your property within 24 hours of a snowfall or ice formation. In addition to clearing the sidewalks, you will need to clear any parking areas and driveways. Some cities will reimburse you for the costs of clearing the sidewalks, but others will require you to pay for this service.

Safety concerns

Keeping sidewalks and walkways clean and clear during winter weather can be a challenge. Snowfall can leave slick patches on the pavement, which can lead to accidents. In addition, clogged or obstructed drains can create puddles on the curb ramps.

Although it may not be the easiest task, there are ways to make it a little easier on you. The key is to educate yourself on the different responsibilities involved. Fortunately, many municipalities have ordinances that outline the most basic requirements. Most communities, however, will rely on the property owners to get the job done.

This is not to say that the city doesn’t want you to remove snow from your sidewalks. However, they will also enforce a certain number of rules. Many jurisdictions, for example, require that all snow be removed within three hours of a storm. Other cities go above and beyond the basic requirements to make it a hassle free experience for everyone.

The most important safety consideration in keeping sidewalks and walkways clean and clear is ensuring the right people are responsible for the work. There is no doubt that clearing sidewalks of ice and snow is a good idea, but not everyone is up to the challenge.


Keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice is a duty of every property owner. If you fail to keep your sidewalk clear, you could face liability for your actions. Depending on the jurisdiction, you could be required to pay a fine or receive a lawsuit.

The laws that apply to sidewalk maintenance vary widely from one jurisdiction to another. For example, some states have no obligation to clean up natural snowfall, while others require the removal of snow and ice from sidewalks.

Most municipalities have specific bylaws for how and when people should remove snow from the sidewalk. In addition to the municipal bylaws, some local communities require property owners to shovel sidewalks.

To prove liability, an individual must be able to show that the sidewalk was in a dangerous condition at the time of the accident. This may be difficult, however, because it depends on the jurisdiction.

Some states, such as New York, have enacted ordinances that impose tort liability on real property owners for accidents on snowy sidewalks. In addition, New York has a law that requires property owners to keep an abutting sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition.

Challenges and obstacles

There are several challenges and obstacles associated with cleaning snow from sidewalks. These include the need to clear areas for fire hydrants, handicap ramps, and fire escapes. Frozen water also forms extra slippery patches on sidewalks, which makes it more difficult for pedestrians to walk safely.

Most jurisdictions have ordinances which require property owners to remove the snow from their sidewalks. Some communities use volunteers or paid services to do this work. Other communities rely on police or public works staff to handle the job. However, even if a community has a good snow clearing policy, there may be instances where the rules are not followed.

One of the most important factors in a successful snow removal program is the way a community handles non-compliance. If a city is able to respond to non-compliance quickly and effectively, the chances of snow removal are greatly increased.

One way to combat this problem is by setting clear priorities for sidewalk snow clearing. For example, some municipalities prioritize the area around school and transit stations. Others prioritize the areas where elderly or disabled individuals might need access to services.

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