Though it has been a snow free winter so far this winter, it may be about time to find the snow shovels and salt and get ready to shovel the sidewalk. Shoveling the sidewalk in front of ones house or building is not only a considerate thing to do it is also required by law in Chicago. The Municipal Code of Chicago 4-4-310 & 10-8-180 requires that property owners and occupants of land keep their sidewalks clear of snow and ice. A five foot wide path must be created for pedestrians on sidewalks and crosswalks. Additionally, the snow that is cleared should not be into alleys, crosswalks, bike-lanes or Divvy stations. Chicago property owners must clear the snow anytime it snows. For snow at night the snow must be removed by 10 a.m. For snowfall during the day, the snow must be cleared by 10 p.m. at night. The penalty for not following the law are possible fines ranging from $50-$500. Violators can be reported by calling 311.
Ice and snow create a big fall risk for anyone using an uncleared sidewalk. The fall risk is especially acute for people who have difficulty walking, such as seniors, people with disabilities and young children. Every winter the attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. receive numerous calls from people have been injured from a fall after slipping on ice or snow on an uncleared sidewalk or walkway. Additionally, uncleared sidewalks and walkways cause people to walk in the street which is especially dangerous since the roads will most likely be slick if there is snow and there is usually not enough room for both cars and pedestrians. The lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer encourage everyone to shovel their sidewalks for everyone’s safety and shoveling has the added benefit of being great exercise.