The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman David Greenfield and State Senator Simcha Felder:
Councilman David G. Greenfield and State Senator Simcha Felder are reminding all homeowners and property owners that they are required by law to ensure that the sidewalk in front of their home, store or building is clear of snow and ice within hours of the end of any snowfall or ice storm. Councilman Greenfield and Senator Felder are providing this notice to the community in light of the fact that many portions of sidewalk remain coated with ice following last week’s storms, causing a serious safety hazard for pedestrians and leading to falls and injuries around the area. The city Department of Sanitation will be issuing violations in the coming days to homeowners and property owners who have yet to clear their sidewalk, so Councilman Greenfield and Senator Felder want to provide fair warning to the community about this impending enforcement crackdown.
Under city law, owners must clear sidewalks within four hours in cases when the snow ends between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. If the snow ends between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m., the sidewalk must be cleared by 11 a.m. Fines for failing to adequately clear your sidewalk are $100 to $150 for the first offense, $150 to $350 for a second offense, and $250 to $350 for third and subsequent offenses. Snow may not be thrown into the street, and rock salt, sand, sawdust or any other suitable material can be used to help break up ice.
“Not only is it the law, but we have a responsibility to clear our sidewalks in order to help keep pedestrians safe. This is especially important in a community like ours with many children, families and elderly citizens who count on being able to safely walk around. I have witnessed several seniors falling due to icy sidewalks and am very concerned about a serious injury occurring. There is no excuse for not clearing your sidewalk nearly a week after the last major snowfall, so this is fair warning to all property owners that the city will be issuing fines to those who continue to flout this law and place their neighbors in danger,” said Councilman Greenfield.
“The city is aggressively enforcing the law by issuing summonses for failure to clear sidewalks after a snowfall. It is, therefore, very important for all property owners or renters to salt and shovel their sidewalks in a timely manner. My office has been inundated with calls, especially from elderly and frail constituents, who cannot maneuver safely on the icy sidewalks. Emergency rooms have also been flooded with people who have sustained, in some cases, life-threatening injuries as a result of falling on unshoveled roadways and sidewalks. The city must also ensure that overpasses throughout Brooklyn along the former LIRR tracks are cleared for safe passage by pedestrians,” said Senator Felder (D-Brooklyn).
Councilman Greenfield and Senator Felder suggest taking care of any snow and ice accumulation as soon as possible to prevent it from freezing. Those who are physically unable to clear their sidewalk alone should hire a snow plowing business or a neighbor to help. In addition, residents can also contact 311 for information about the city’s volunteer snow removal program through NYC Service. Residents are urged to take basic safety precautions while shoveling, including taking frequent breaks, stopping and going inside if you become overheated and drinking plenty of fluids.