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New York City - Shoveling Sidewalks Not Just Messy, It's The Law

Published on: February 12, 2010 10:53 AM
By:  WCBS TV
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New York City - Shoveling the sidewalk after a storm, isn’t just messy, it’s the law. And if you don’t do it, you could be fined.

In Brooklyn Heights, residents knew the clock was ticking. Clear the sidewalks of snow and ice or face a fine of up to $100.

The actual deadline was 11 a.m. So Bill Birenbaum, who owns a beautiful brownstone on Willow Street had a friend clear his steps and sidewalk out front very early Thursday morning.

But his next door neighbor didn’t appear to be quite as a good a citizen, with a snow and ice-crusted sidewalk out front making it tough for strollers and others.

CBS 2 gave the neighbor a gentle reminder.

“You’ve just got 90 minutes to clear the sidewalk,” she said.

“With your help and encouragement, I’m sure I’ll do it.”

A city plow driver was doing just what we’d been told not to do, taking snow from the curb and dumping it into the middle of the street.

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When CBS 2 asked the unidentified driver if what he was doing was the correct way, he replied by saying “yes, thank you.”

Some businesses along Montague Street hadn’t begun to clear their sidewalks since they don’t open by eleven.

“We all know it’s the responsibility of the homeowner to take the appropriate action,” said Brooklyn Heights resident Lee-Anna Caccioppo.

If you’d be interested in shoveling snow for the city, they’re looking for people on Thursday. The pay starts at $12 an hour. Head to your local sanitation garage or call 311.


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Read Comments (20)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Feb 12, 2010 at 10:58 AM Anonymous Says:

this is esp a problem in bp and flatbush where "frum" homeowners are so lazy and inconsiderate, i nearly slip and fall outside their houses every time it snows. same for the businesses. clean up the mess or risk a lawsuit! i wish bloomy's agents would issue tickets for this instead of other nonsense.

2

 Feb 12, 2010 at 11:02 AM Yossi Says:

I just came back 2 weeks ago from Manchester ,England after they had a snow storm of 8-12 inches which didnt happen for the last 26 years. Driving home from airport i observed that NO house has their sidewalk shoveled and cleared of ice.(this is one week after storm). Driver explained to me that in England there is a law that if YOU shovel and someone slips on a patch of ice they can SUE you because u did NOT shovel properly but if you DO NOT shovel you CAN NOT be sued because its an act of g-d...I couldnt walk at all on the streets and i was told that numerous heimishe yidden in Salford area suffered broken arms,legs,and major surgeries. Now maybe you cant be sued but what about Veusisu makgeh legagechu and LOY samoyd al dan chaveirechu.? Please if anyone can pasken this i want to know.
I also did a google search and was surprised that the same law is valid for USA except that here you can get a fine from sanitation but cant be liable if you left the snow untouched....

3

 Feb 12, 2010 at 11:10 AM Anonymous Says:

Yidden, have some consideration for your neighbors. SHOVEL your property, we don't need to fall down on it and SUE YOU!

4

 Feb 12, 2010 at 11:21 AM Anonymous Says:

We will be buried till April!! We live on a small and narrow street. The plow never comes through. We have to hope that people clear their walks. Otherwise, we are buried till spring. My kid is 18 and it has been that way since he was a baby. The city never changes anything. Flatbush is Flatbush. You can call. It is just a waste of breath!!

6

 Feb 12, 2010 at 11:46 AM Anonymous Says:

And it happens to be the halacha too- vnishmartem meod lnafshoseichem.

7

 Feb 12, 2010 at 11:53 AM Anonymous Says:

Does the City ever ticket for this? Considering this is a much greater danger to life and limb than most parking violations, it seems that this should be a very high priority for the City. There are so many people in Queens who simply never clear their sidewalk, and the snow is quickly crushed to ice. Many stores also fail to do this, and there is one entrance to a parking lot that is never shoveled, with pedestrians having to cross about 20' of very slippery ice that covers the sidewalk.

8

 Feb 12, 2010 at 12:03 PM Anonymous Says:

People who don't shovel deserve a ticket. Watch the elderly struggle as they walk down the street. If they break something, chalila, it can kill them.

Those who cannnot shovel or are away, should hire someone to do it for them. There is ZERO excuse!

9

 Feb 12, 2010 at 12:14 PM punch Says:

since alternte side parking is suspendend when there's snow and traffic police have much less work to do, it whoud be a great idea to have them handing out fines to those who don't shovel the snow.

10

 Feb 12, 2010 at 12:16 PM mench Says:

why do i get a $125 fine for not parking right but those selfish lazy people not removing the snow and endangering pedestrians only get $100?

11

 Feb 12, 2010 at 12:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Sometimes it's safer to leave the snow alone. The supers in my neighborhood (in Manhattan) don't really shovel - they just sort of move the snow out of the way leaving a thin layer of ice on the sidewalk. Then they drop a couple of handfuls of chemicals on the ice & pretend that their work is done.

12

 Feb 12, 2010 at 12:56 PM no tickets please Says:

I'm amazed that everyone is so quick to ask for someone else to get tickets.

I do shovel my sidewalk when it snows, but its not always possible to do it right away, if I couldn't do it one day for whatever reason, I would not be happy to get a ticket, before I even had a chance to shovel

13

 Feb 12, 2010 at 01:29 PM Anonymous Says:

its even more disgusting when people shovel just their steps and ignore the sidewalk, the fine should be at least $200

15

 Feb 12, 2010 at 01:51 PM slippin' & slidin' Says:

Reply to #2  
Yossi Says:

I just came back 2 weeks ago from Manchester ,England after they had a snow storm of 8-12 inches which didnt happen for the last 26 years. Driving home from airport i observed that NO house has their sidewalk shoveled and cleared of ice.(this is one week after storm). Driver explained to me that in England there is a law that if YOU shovel and someone slips on a patch of ice they can SUE you because u did NOT shovel properly but if you DO NOT shovel you CAN NOT be sued because its an act of g-d...I couldnt walk at all on the streets and i was told that numerous heimishe yidden in Salford area suffered broken arms,legs,and major surgeries. Now maybe you cant be sued but what about Veusisu makgeh legagechu and LOY samoyd al dan chaveirechu.? Please if anyone can pasken this i want to know.
I also did a google search and was surprised that the same law is valid for USA except that here you can get a fine from sanitation but cant be liable if you left the snow untouched....

What you said here is absolutely correct. My daughter's nephew in Manchester fell & broke his shoulder outside somebody's unshoveled walk. His mother told me the exact same story about liability. As I'm not a Rav I can't pasken, but it seems to be a good shailoh. BTW, I remember that storm in Manchester 26 years ago. It was gevaldik! You have to remember, though, that there is only 1 snow plough for almost half the country & even 1" causes the UK to shut down.

As for Frum people here not shoveling: that's also true! I agree with #2.

16

 Feb 13, 2010 at 11:25 AM tema Says:

How about those folks who give the little ones the shovels and stay inside while the kids try to make a 6 inch (the width of the shovel) path thinking that is enough for an adult to deal with. That is just as wrong as not shoveling at all and they deserve a ticket too.

17

 Feb 13, 2010 at 08:30 PM Anonymous Says:

Some folks aren't physically able to shovel their walkways and the people they arrange to do it for them can't always make it to their homes within this time period.

In most cases, it does get done, but not necessarily within the specified time frame.

18

 Feb 13, 2010 at 09:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

People who don't shovel deserve a ticket. Watch the elderly struggle as they walk down the street. If they break something, chalila, it can kill them.

Those who cannnot shovel or are away, should hire someone to do it for them. There is ZERO excuse!

I agree with you 100%. Even if someone is unable to shovel, EVERYONE can spread some salt to make the ice/snow melt. There is no excuse! I wish they would give tickets to all of the homeowners who lack the mentchlichkeit to make sure no one slips on their sidewalk.

19

 Feb 13, 2010 at 10:22 PM Brains Says:

"Some folks aren't physically able to shovel their walkways" To # 17 - what kind of excuse is that? Hire someone else to shovel for you!

20

 Feb 13, 2010 at 11:38 PM Motti Says:

It is especially disappointing when frum people don't take care of this matter.
The same people who are mehdahkdik about cholov yisrael, peyos and shtreimels,
buying the best lulavs and esrogs but when it comes to menshlikhkeit all of a sudden the same frumahkers are maykil and modern..

These same hihmishe menshen should also put salt crystals down
on the sidewalk. Young Israel Beth-El in Boro Park---a shul---failed to put salt on
the stairs leading into the main sanctuary two years ago. One person slipped down
the stairs because of that negligence, Luckily, he was not hurt. When I pointed this
out to a few bystanders, their immediate reaction was to deny the whole episode.
"It never happened." Well, it did happen. People are becoming more careful.
But you still have to watch out for ice. Not everyone salts the sidewalk.

Those who do are entitled to a mitvah reward. It is really a "Khesed".
Especially for ehltere menshen vus kenen nisht git vawkn.

21

 Feb 14, 2010 at 11:49 AM mench Says:

Reply to #9  
punch Says:

since alternte side parking is suspendend when there's snow and traffic police have much less work to do, it whoud be a great idea to have them handing out fines to those who don't shovel the snow.

i think it whould be better to have the traffic police to shovel the snow for those who don't, and then send the homeowner a bill for whatever they charge.

22

 Feb 14, 2010 at 08:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Some businessowners were unable to get to their properties before 11:00 A.M. since they live out of the borough and had to get their own homes shoveled out first. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances too. If a snowstorm ends at 11:00 p.m., there has to be an additional allowance of time. People were not going out in the middle of the night to shovel out.

23

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