Sunday, February 10, 2013

Not N-Ice

A reader reports that the sidewalks on Junior Terrace and Cullom are slick as can be due to homeowner negligence.  A little ice melt, shoveling, and/or sand are not only considerate, but the law.

"There is a City ordinance that requires building owners or tenants to remove the snow and ice from sidewalks in front of their buildings or vacant lots. The ordinance states that if the sidewalk is wider than five feet, only a five foot path is necessary.

"Snow that accumulates before 4:00 p.m. must be removed within three hours after the snow has fallen. Snow that accumulates after 4:00 p.m. or during the night shall be removed before 10:00 a.m. Non-compliance can result in ticketing and fines. Violations can be reported to 311."

You can read more about the particulars on the City's Sidewalk Snow Removal webpage.


  1. Hopefully 1039 Winona is reading this post. Their frontage on Winona, and siding on Kenmore has not been shoveled or salted except for the small swath from their front door to their car on Winona. It is now 5 inch thick sheet of smooth solid ice and very treacherous. Their are many Seniors living in the 5040 N Kenmore building that need to traverse this strip to get to Dominicks and CVS.

  2. There are any number of actions or inactions one could consider a misdemeanor crime against "community". Not shoveling snow is one of them. Dropping pop cans or candy bags on the ground would be another. Beer cans too.

    I do a tremendous amount of walking through Uptown and nearby hoods in order to maintain my cheetah-like physique. As a community we generally do a better job than Lakeview which does a better job than Lincoln Park.

    Do you see where I'm going with this? Do you see the light?

    In Uptown on average the larger apartment buildings or condo buildings do a good job of shoveling their snow. That's because they hire someone to do it. By far the worst offenders in the non snow shoveling derby of shame are the SFH's, smaller self managed condo buildings and SOME of the CHA scattered site housing.

    In terms of the likelihood of the snow being shoveled the more expensive the SFH or smaller condo building is the less likely they are to shovel their snow.

    On my street in either direction for one block or so most of the properties have been shoveled. The exceptions are a relative handful of smaller more expensive properties. Now most of my center entrance six flat neighbors are obsessive about shoveling their sidewalks, but a few buildings NEVER bother.

    OH they take feather dusters to their parking lots and garages, but to hell with shoveling the sidewalks. Their cars are more important than their neighbors I guess.

    I've noticed in Uptown that as you walk through the more expensive parts of the hood with SFH's and near the lake relatively few of the neighbors bother shoveling their snow.

    It's a version of the Broken Windows theory in practice. Some blocks nearly everyone shovels their snow. On others, generally the "nicer" blocks relatively few shovel their snow.

    Try walking through a side street in Lincoln Park. Many are like minefields of ice. As a society we've clearly failed to raise our rich people with the correct values.

    The answer is waiting a reasonable amount of time after a snowfall, say 24 hours, and then issuing a warning ticket. If no action is taken then a real ticket that costs say $5 per linear foot of unshoveled frontage should be issued with extreme prejudice.

    If I've offended any people in the smaller or more expensive buildings that actually shovel their snow I apologize. Most of the buildings here regardless of type do a good job of shoveling their snow.

    Don't even get me started on the commercial property owners or renters that don't bother shoveling.........ACK.

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  4. I don't know....this can get tricky. I live in a SFH. I shovel when it snows -- unless I'm out of town for work, which unfortunately is more often than I'd like. Should I hire a snow removal service - perhaps, but I like to take care of it myself and that works 90% of the time.

    The real problem is the drainage (or lack thereof) in our neighborhood. I'd gladly strike a deal with the city right now: you take care of fixing the drainage problem so that water doesn't consistently puddle up and submerge the sidewalk in front of my house, and I will try to do a better job maintaining that sidewalk.

  5. Bardo, so you need the city to do something in order to be a good neighbor, really? That is pretty sad and if you have not called 311 to report it, and I slip and fall on your walk, I plan to sue the hell out of you... and if you have called and had no action, I suggest trying the Aldermans office..

  6. Super Hero -

    Calm down. yes, I've reported it several times to 311. I shovel whenever it snows and I'm not hundreds of miles away. Take a deep breath.

  7. I shame the management companies of buildings that don't do their duty by posting pictures and complaints on their public facebook pages. Usually works.

    I'm thinking about putting together some weather-proof signs I can keep in my bag to quickly zip-tie onto the fences and gates of scofflaws- basically reminding them about their responsibilities.

  8. The poor drainage is a huge problem. You practically need a drawbridge at some spots